Avisail close to rejoining White Sox lineup

First-time All-Star wants to finish career on South Side

Avisail close to rejoining White Sox lineup

BOSTON -- The exceedingly good mood shown by Avisail Garcia before Saturday night's game at Fenway Park might indicate the White Sox right fielder is close to a healthy return to the lineup.

Garcia has been on the disabled list since July 27, retroactive to July 26, with a sprained right thumb. He took early batting practice on Friday and hit with the team on Saturday, making more of a decision Sunday when he sees how everything responds.

"I'm feeling good. I still have a little bit of inflammation, but I think it's normal," Garcia said. "I'm feeling way better, way better. Let's see what happens.

"I don't want to play a little bit hurt and then get worse and lose more days. I'm just going to come back to 100 percent and make sure that nothing hurts. Let's see what happens and how I feel today, and let's see how I feel [Sunday]."

Avisail's nice catch in the gap

In July, Garcia hit just .216 with two home runs and three RBIs. He knew there was an issue with soreness on the inner part of his thumb and knew it was time to shut things down after having trouble gripping the bat.

Throwing the ball is no problem and already has been tested, according to Garcia. And being sidelined in the midst of a career-best season, with 13 home runs, 54 RBIs and an .832 OPS, has not been frustrating.

"No, no chance. Nothing. It happens," Garcia said. "You can't do anything about it. It's baseball, man. Everything can happen. You never go all the way up, you never go all the way down.

"You just have to stay in the middle. My swing changed a little bit. Everything changed. That's why I made the decision to stop because I can't play like that. How am I supposed to help my team or help my team do something good when my hand is like that? So I made the decision we need to stop. Let's check the doctors. That's what happened."

At 26, Garcia and his wife, Anakarina, are expecting their second child -- and first son -- in two weeks to join their daughter, Annarella. Garcia has that sort of joy joined with his baseball success.

Avisail's catch in center

The White Sox have two years of control over Garcia after this season and eventually will have to decide to extend him contractually or move him somewhere else. Garcia hopes to stay through the rebuild and with the White Sox as they push back into contention.

"Yeah, why not?" said a smiling Garcia. "I feel part of it. But you don't know what's going to happen. I want to stay here. I want my career here.

"So, if I can play 15 or 20 years or 10 years or five more years, it's going to be great. Let's see what happens. I want to stay here, for sure."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.