Injury news on Colson Montgomery and Noah Schultz — and what’s next for Liam Hendriks – The Mercury News

Injury news on Colson Montgomery and Noah Schultz — and what’s next for Liam Hendriks – The Mercury News

Colson Montgomery had a productive 2022 while playing for three teams in the Chicago White Sox system.

A midback strain has delayed the top prospect’s start to 2023. The 2021 first-round pick continues to rehab, according to assistant general manager Chris Getz.

“It has improved a good amount here in the last week or two,” Getz said Thursday afternoon. “And we are increasing his activities and look forward to getting him back.

“He would have liked to be with an affiliate out of the gate, but this midback strain seems to be kind of in the rearview mirror and hope to get a good chunk of the season this year.”

Three of the top four prospects in the Sox system are in various stages of coming back from injuries.

Third baseman Bryan Ramos, the organization’s No. 3 prospect, is in extended spring training recovering from a groin-related injury.

“He’s (been a designated hitter), played third base,” Getz said. “He’s got a couple of more games in extended and shortly thereafter we will get him to (Double-A) Birmingham. Everything has been really positive for him physically.”

Ramos, 21, hit .266 with 22 homers and 86 RBIs between Class A Winston-Salem and Birmingham last season. He hasn’t played this season.

“He obviously would have liked to break with the Birmingham club,” Getz said. “Hopefully this injury is behind him and he’s strong and ready to go.”

Pitcher Noah Schultz, last year’s first-round pick out of Oswego East, was scheduled to throw two innings of live batting practice Friday as the left-hander makes his way back from a forearm strain.

“Next week we’ll build on that and continue to stretch him out,” Getz said. “He’s been mid-90s with a slider we are accustomed to. He’s attacking the zone throwing strikes, so things are trending in the right direction. We look forward to getting him to an affiliate soon.”

Getz said Schultz, the No. 4 prospect in the organization, has been “really impressive” during the rehab process.

“And beyond just trying to calm down his forearm, we’re also trying to build up a 19-year-old body,” Getz said. “We’re talking about 6-foot-9 and a left-handed pitcher that’s very projectable. So he’s established daily routines, whether it’s been in the weight room, arm-care program, long toss, catch play, during his side sessions, the consistency of his pitches.

“He’s throwing a four-seam, a two-seam and a slider and a changeup. There’s always something to focus on. I don’t think there’s been a time that he’s been on a mound that we haven’t been impressed with what he’s capable of doing. And just like any player that’s playing this game, it’s about consistency. As we continue to stretch him out and get him to an affiliate, get him into greater competition than what he’s experiencing right now, it’ll be very telling. We look forward to how he competes and responds to (Class A) Kannapolis competition.”

Montgomery, 21, had a 50-game on-base streak while with Kannapolis and Winston-Salem in 2022. He slashed .274/.381/.429 with 17 doubles, 11 home runs and 47 RBIs for Kannapolis (45 games), Winston-Salem (37) and Birmingham (14) last season.

“You want to continue to ride the momentum of his development,” Getz said. “He had an excellent first season and although he’s been dealing with an injury, my preference would be to be dealing with it on the front end of the year just so we can get a good chunk of production on the field and have a healthy offseason.

“There’s still plenty of season left, and we’ll look at some fall options for him as well. Hopefully just continue to build his trajectory toward the major leagues.”

Oscar Colás, the organization’s No. 2 prospect, is working back to the majors while with Triple-A Charlotte. He slashed .211/.265/.276 with one homer and seven RBIs in 25 games for the Sox before being optioned on May 2.

Colás has a .389/.443/.611 slash line with one home run and 12 RBIs in 13 games with the Knights.

“We’ve really focused on certain facets of the game,” Getz said. “We’ve sat down with Colás on a daily basis, at least the staff there in Charlotte, to go over the preparation needed to be a professional along with having to make in-game adjustments. He’s communicated really well with the staff and players and his execution is good.

“His execution has been productive as well. The evaluation is beyond just his numbers. It’s really what goes into being a major league player. When he comes back here to Chicago, we want him to be productive and sustainable to help us get our season back on track.”

Liam Hendriks throws live batting practice

Hendriks had a live batting practice session Friday at Guaranteed Rate Field before a game against the Kansas City Royals.

“We saw some nice adjustments that we talked to him about,” Sox pitching coach Ethan Katz said. “And we’re gathering more information and it was a positive day.”

Adam Haseley and Seby Zavala were among the teammates the closer faced. Hendriks continues to work his way toward a return after undergoing treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

“He’s building up,” Katz said. “It’s kind of like his spring training. We’re just kind of getting eyes on him and getting him ramped up and kind of seeing where everything goes.”

Hendriks’ status remains day to day.

“We have some stuff that we need to go through (Saturday), give him the information and also give him time and evaluate this properly and see where it goes,” Katz said.


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