White Sox: Omar Narvaez should see increase in playing time


CLEVELAND — An expected push for more playing time for Omar Narvaez unexpectedly began early on Wednesday evening when Geovany Soto was a late scratch. 

The White Sox announced Soto — who has three homers in five games this season — would miss Wednesday's contest about an hour before game time with a sore right elbow. 

But even though Soto had done the bulk of the work so far, manager Rick Renteria said earlier in the day that he expects Narvaez will begin catching more often. Renteria suggested it would be closer to a 50/50 split with Narvaez perhaps receiving more than Soto. The White Sox also scratched Todd Frazier from Wednesday's lineup with flu-like symptoms. 

"We're just trying to make sure (Narvaez), who is gathering more experience and being with all the guys we have, and trying to take advantage of Geo's experience and working with a couple of the guys in (James Shields) and Derek Holland," Renteria said. "Sometimes some of the matchups don't help us in terms of the pitchers and offensive matchups, but we'll try to do everything we can to balance it out. Hopefully you'll see (Narvaez) about 50/50 or maybe a little bit more."

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How long Soto will be out is yet to be determined. But if he does return quickly, the plan would most likely call for Soto to catch whenever Shields or Holland starts. Still, Renteria said those battery alignments wouldn't determine everything.

"It would be foolish for me to make a determination on catching somebody if I think he's going to have a pretty good offensive opportunity there to help us to eliminate him from the equation because he's catching somebody in particular," Renteria said. "Some teams it might happen. It's not your ideal situation. We're very comfortable with both guys with anybody we have. We'll continue to mix and match."

Matt Davidson filled in at third for Frazier, who said he felt under the weather for Tuesday's series opener. Even though he felt ill, Frazier homered and doubled in Tuesday's loss. Renteria said he's hopeful that Frazier could return for Thursday's series finale.

"I think if we give him a little bit of a break maybe it will subside a little," Renteria said. "We all know the way the flu is, it's not a normal business we live in in baseball. Everybody is expected to be there. Just like any other work man who goes out and tries to do his job, it wouldn't serve him well to force him out there the way he feels like now."

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