Giolito hit the IL at the beginning of the month due to a strained left hamstring.
It seemed like the decision came mostly out of precaution, which makes sense for a team with World Series aspirations.
Any fears of a lingering issue were put to rest when the team announced that Giolito would start this Tuesday against the Los Angeles Angels.
Tony La Russa said Sox are likely to pitch Carlos Rodón tomorrow against the Red Sox, Lance Lynn on Sunday and Lucas Giolito on Tuesday against the Angels. Sox rotation about to be whole again.
— Vinnie Duber (@VinnieDuber) September 9, 2021
Here’s everything you need to know about his return.
Prior to his IL stint, Giolito was working on another stellar season.
Although it took a few years for him to get there, the righty has established himself as a legitimate star in this league.
Lucas Giolito with a nasty changeup to strikeout Mike Trout pic.twitter.com/JuEvF2jIJa
— Baseball Bros (@BaseballBros) April 2, 2021
This season, he has a 3.69 ERA, 3.87 FIP, and 1.11 WHIP.
After a rocky start to the year, he turned things up a notch in the middle of the summer.
He made 10 starts between July 10 and September 3 (the date he hit the IL), and of those 10 starts, he allowed two runs or fewer in nine of them.
This is really Giolio’s third consecutive impressive campaign.
In 2019, he posted a 3.41 ERA, was named an All-Star, and finished sixth in Cy Young voting.
In 2020, he managed a 3.48 ERA and finished seventh in Cy Young voting.
This is becoming the norm for him.
The White Sox have essentially already clinched the AL Central, but they still have a lot to play for.
The No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in each league receive home-field advantage in the division round of the postseason, and Chicago is firmly in the mix for the No. 2 seed in the AL.
The Tampa Bay Rays more or less have the No. 1 seed wrapped up, but the White Sox and Houston Astros are in a battle for the AL’s next-best record.
Currently, the White Sox (82-61) trail the Astros (83-59) by 1.5 games.
With about three weeks remaining in the regular season, there’s still enough time for Chicago to make up the necessary ground.
But if the team sleepwalks through the next few weeks, then Houston will likely cruise to the No. 2 seed.
Gilito’s return should help Chicago in its efforts.
Barring something unforeseen, Giolito will almost certainly make at least one start in the playoffs.
The White Sox are undoubtedly going to have high hopes when he takes the mound in October, because he turned some heads with his stellar postseason performance last year.
He made just one start, but it was a fantastic one.
He tossed seven innings of one-run ball against the Oakland Athletics, allowing just two hits, one walk, and striking out eight batters.
He got the win, though the White Sox ultimately lost the series.
This time around, Chicago would love to see some similar results from Giolito.
He’s clearly capable of performing at a very high level on a huge stage.