Rick Hahn provides updates on key White Sox injuries originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Chicago White Sox are in the midst of a turnaround following a bumpy beginning to the 2022 season. After dropping 11 of 13 games to fall to 8-13 on May 1, a six-game winning streak has them back over .500 entering an intra-division series with the Cleveland Guardians.
"When we talked on Opening Day I think I sort of laid out expectations that these first two months would be a little rocky," general manager Rick Hahn told reporters Monday afternoon. "Just the nature of the offseason, the shortened spring (training), the steep schedule expectations early in the year were gonna create some volatility in the roster and likely performance.
"(We) didn't quite foresee losing eight (games) in a row followed by winning six in a row, but it's not a total shock that we haven't quite found our sea legs so to speak."
Injuries have played a part in that volatility as well. Hahn provided updates on a number of key players' rehabilitations over the course of a 17-minute media session, which are summarized below:
Lance Lynn, who underwent surgery to repair a slightly torn tendon in his knee in early April, is on track for a return in early June, according to Hahn. Lynn could return to the mound for a rehab stint by the end of the May, but Hahn said no such plans are yet set in stone.
Eloy Jiménez has begun sprinting roughly two weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a torn hamstring tendon behind his right knee suffered while attempting to beat out a groundout during the White Sox' April 23 loss to the Twins. Hahn said Jiménez is progressing on pace with his original six-to-eight week recovery timeline.
"They look pretty good," Hahn said of Lynn and Jiménez. "That's a positive."
Andrew Vaughn had his best day in the batting cage since being beaned by a pitch — which bruised his right hand — during the team's April 29 loss to the Angels, according to manager Tony La Russa.
"This is the most positive day we've had where he was able to get in some work that closely resembles real swings and not holding back," La Russa said. "Step in the right direction."
Vaughn is eligible to be reinstated from the IL on May 12. While Hahn said Vaughn isn't likely to hit that date "right on the head," the second-year outfielder will be back with the club in the "not too distant future."
Joe Kelly missed the first month of the season with a right biceps injury, but was officially activated ahead of Monday's series-opener against the Guardians. La Russa said Kelly's usage will depend on game flow, but that the veteran reliever is available to pitch. The team will not use him in back-to-back games for the time being.
Yoán Moncada is also back — and batting second in the White Sox' lineup Monday — from a right oblique strain suffered in spring training. Both he and Kelly are fresh off productive rehab stints with the White Sox' AAA affiliate Charlotte Knights.
"It's excellent to have them both back," Hahn said. "Being able to add a quality arm to the back of the 'pen will be very beneficial and we all know what Yoán's capable of doing to help this offense."
Aaron Bummer hit the 15-day IL (retroactive to May 7) in a corresponding move to Kelly's reinstatement. Bummer hyperextended his right knee late in a May 6 outing against the Red Sox, but both he and Hahn are optimistic the injury won't keep him out longer than his IL stint.
"Preliminarily, we're pretty optimistic that he'll be back once the 15 days are up," Hahn said.