Tepera showed himself the door and got into a jamb.
Not a jammed index finger, folks. More like a “jambed” index finger.
White Sox right-handed reliever Ryan Tepera walked through a door at his apartment Monday night, grabbed at the frame with his pitching hand without thinking about it and — oh, no — sliced open his finger on a hinge.
He instantly feared the worst.
“I thought it was a lot deeper when it happened last night,” he said. “I’m like, ‘Crap, I’m going to miss the rest of the season and playoffs’ and stuff.”
Instead: five to seven days on the mend, Tepera hopes after showing the cut to Sox trainers. No stitches were necessary. Tepera — a key veteran with a 2.81 ERA in 20 appearances since being acquired by the Sox in a deadline trade with the Cubs — was placed on the 10-day injured list retroactive to Sept. 11. Lefty Jace Fry was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte.
One assumes Tepera’s mishap was much closer on the oops-o-meter to Lucas Giolito’s early-season water-bottle incident than it was to Jose Quintana’s dish-washing incident in 2020 with Cubs. Still, there’s always something in the injury department with these Sox.
Take Tuesday, for example. In wonderful developments, starter Giolito was back on the mound and shortstop Tim Anderson back in the lineup for a series opener against the Angels. But no sooner did those two come off the IR than Tepera and rookie outfielder Andrew Vaughn went on it. Vaughn is on the 10-day IL (retroactive to Sept. 10) with lower back inflammation.
Vaughn hasn’t played since Sept. 9 in Oakland. What the Sox at first believed to be an issue with his hamstrings may have originated in his back, which remains sore. Vaughn had been slumping, with no extra-base hits over his last 15 games as his slash line dropped from .263//335/.462 to .240/.314/.409.
No need to worry too much about Vaughn considering his back-and-forth with Eloy Jimenez as the slugger interrupted a dugout interview, playing reporter.
Jimenez: “How are you feeling today?”
Vaughn: “Better than yesterday, baby.”
Jimenez: “That’s great. We need you.”
Collins back, too
In other moves, the Sox recalled catcher Zack Collins from Charlotte and optioned infielder Danny Mendick and catcher Seby Zavala to Charlotte. Zavala hit .183 with five homers and 15 RBI in 37 games with the big club. Collins spent about three weeks in Charlotte working on his swing and loading up on starts behind the plate.
“We’ve been eyeballing Seby,” manager Tony La Russa said, “and we’re going to eyeball Zack. Nobody has any kind of commitment or promise, assuming we get that [magic] number down to zero and we’re actually in October.”
Collins wants that No. 2 catcher job behind Yasmani Grandal, though, when the team goes for all the marbles.
“It would mean everything,” he said. “It’s what we’ve worked for the whole year, to get to the postseason and give ourselves a chance to win it all. … It would be great to be a part of it.”
This and that
Grandal reached base for the 29th straight game, tying Jose Abreu (2016) and Juan Pierre (2010) for the longest streak by a Sox player in one season since the start of the 1998 campaign.
• Abreu’s three walks gave him 54 this season, a career high.
• The Sox made closer Liam Hendriks their nominee for the 2021 Roberto Clemente Award, presented to the major leaguer who best represents the game with high character, community involvement and contributions to his team.