BLUE JAYS (18-26) AT WHITE SOX (20-23)
2:10 p.m. ET; NBCSCH, SN1, MLB.TV
Knuckleball pitcher Ryan Feierabend is expected to make his first major league appearance since 2014 when the Toronto Blue Jays square off against the host Chicago White Sox in the third game of a four-game series Saturday afternoon.
Feierabend, 33, posted a 2-11 record with a 7.15 ERA in 31 games, including 19 starts, over four seasons with the Seattle Mariners (2006-08) and Texas Rangers (2014). But a half-decade has passed since his most recent big-league game, and he spent the previous four years playing in the Korean Baseball Organization.
This year, Feierabend is 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA in three starts at Triple-A Buffalo. The Blue Jays must make a roster move to clear space for him, but manager Charlie Montoyo indicated that was the likely scenario as the team searches for a fresh arm.
The left-hander took the loss and gave up five runs in six innings during his only career start against the White Sox, back in 2006.
Montoyo also weighed the possibility of a bullpen day, but that option was hindered Friday when starter Aaron Sanchez had to leave after three-plus innings because of a blister on his right middle finger. Two Blue Jays relievers, Sam Gaviglio and Javy Guerra, pitched three shutout innings apiece to close out a 10-2 win.
The White Sox will counter with right-hander Lucas Giolito, who will make his eighth start of the season. Giolito (4-1, 3.55 ERA) has been particularly effective in his past four starts, going 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA.
In two career starts against Toronto, Giolito is 1-0 with a 4.76 ERA. He has walked two and fanned 11 in 11 1/3 innings.
Giolito’s biggest concern — and Feierabend’s biggest ally — could be rookie slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
The 20-year-old continued his impressive start to his major league career with his third home run in 17 games Friday. White Sox center fielder Leury Garcia raced to the warning track and nearly made a highlight-reel catch, but the ball bounced off his glove and over the wall.
Montoyo marveled at the strength of Guerrero, whose three home runs all have come on the team’s current road trip.
“Any time he’s at the plate, you feel like he’s got a chance to hit a bomb,” Montoyo said.
White Sox right-hander Ivan Nova, who surrendered Guerrero’s latest home run, said the rookie was a tough out.
“He’s a good hitter,” Nova said. “I try not to let him extend. I went in, in, in with my best pitch. It was my sinker. That pitch that he hit was not way in like I wanted it to (be). He put a good swing on it.”
The White Sox also feature some hot hitters heading into the Saturday matchup.
Tim Anderson is batting .438 (7-for-16) with two home runs and four RBIs in four games against the Blue Jays this season. Teammate Charlie Tilson has hit safely in nine of 11 games since his promotion earlier this month, and he has a .317 average.
Garcia has six multi-hit efforts in his past 13 games despite going 0-for-4 on Friday.
“I feel great,” Garcia said. “I love playing here. I just want to keep doing it.”
–Field Level Media