Grifol gives first-base coach Jason Bourgeois excused absence

Chicago White Sox designated hitter Eloy Jiménez hits a home run during the fourth inning of a spring training baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Phoenix, Wednesday, March 6, 2024. Luis Robert Jr. also scored. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis) ORG XMIT: CAAL509

Ashley Landis/AP Photos

First-year first base coach Jason Bourgeois was nowhere to be found, and it delayed the start of the bottom of the eighth inning of the White Sox’ 9-0 loss to the Braves Monday.

Manager Pedro Grifol called it an excused absence.

Seems Bourgeois was in the clubhouse with headphones on reviewing positioning, per Grifol.

“JB is a great coach, really technical, detailed,” Grifol said. “He checks a lot of boxes every single day before he gets out on the field. We had our rain delay, he had his headphones on, he was knee deep into positioning. The game started and he got caught.”

It wasn’t a good look, especially as the delay dragged on, and as Grifol said, “it’s unfortunate because it becomes a story. But this guy is a really good coach. He really cares for this team and his job so I’m good with it.”

“I know the person, I know what he brings to the table every day, how diligent he is about his work.”

Clevinger welcome here

Mike Clevinger’s signing a one-year deal to return to the Sox will be announced soon. And while news Monday of the right-hander’s forthcoming jump into the starting rotation was met with mixed reactions, there was nothing mixed from the Sox, who view it as an opportunity to add needed quality innings to the whole of a season.

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“Obviously, Clev was a really good teammate here,” Grifol said. “He pitched really good baseball for us last year. He’s a really good competitor. So, we’ll see how it all plays out, but he has some attributes that we saw that were on point to who we are and where we want to go.”

Clevinger made 24 starts, going 9-0 and posting a 3.77 ERA. After not finding an offer to his liking, he agreed on a one-year deal for $3 million with incentives, according to sources.

Major League Baseball was investigating Clevinger for an allegation of physical abuse and child abuse by a former partner when he signed with the Sox on Nov. 27, 2022, but the Sox were not aware. The commissioner’s office announced last March that it would not discipline Clevinger, now 33, after a lengthy investigation.

“I like him,” left-hander Tanner Banks, a 2023 teammate, said Tuesday. “He’s an extremely hard worker, he makes you want to work harder. He’s an extreme competitor, and a good role model for some of the other pitchers because he’s established and has been dominant.

“Keep off the field stuff off the field and not let it affect what we’re trying to do here, but great team guy. Younger guys can go up to him, and he’s an open book. Super approachable for anyone.”

Clevinger was well-liked in a clubhouse that had its issues last season.

“He’s a good addition,” Banks said. “To have someone like him, bring his personality and that bulldog mentality.”

Eloy update

Eloy Jimenez, sweat on his brow, said he was doing “better” before heading to the cage to hit. He missed his second straight game as he receives treatment for the sore adductor, but is getting work in and might avoid a stint on the injured list.

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“Today was a step in the right direction,” Grifol said.

“Now he’s on his way back, now we’ve got to check boxes to make sure he’s ready to go.”

This and that

The Mariners claimed Sammy Peralta off waivers from the Sox.

*Outfielder Robbie Grossman was added to the Charlotte Knights roster.

*Catcher Max Stassi (hip), who opened the season on the IL, began his Triple-A Charlotte rehab assignment.

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