White Sox general manager Rick Hahn believes the best is yet to come for Chicago right-hander Mat Latos. A's manager Bob Melvin believes Oakland right-hander Kendall Graveman is healthy enough to pitch.
The answer to both of those assertions will come Thursday, when the two hurlers take the mound for the afternoon finale of a four-game set at the Coliseum.
Latos made three starts during Spring Training, and while the results weren't what the veteran desired, he made positive strides with each outing. He agreed to a one-year, $3 million deal with the White Sox as a free agent during this past offseason.
Graveman, like A's ace Sonny Gray, battled the flu this week, enduring an especially difficult eight hours on Tuesday, but he was back in the A's clubhouse on Wednesday and deemed healthy enough to make his scheduled start in the series finale.
Melvin gathered his squad for a team meeting with head trainer Nick Paparesta on Tuesday afternoon to discuss ways to combat the virus.
"I've had this Purell dispenser in here for years," Melvin said, smiling, "and now everybody doesn't think I'm so crazy."
Things to know
• Avisail Garcia will be in right field and Tyler Saladino gets the start at shortstop for the White Sox in the series finale.
• A's infielder Eric Sogard is still being bothered by a neck strain when he hits, so he's expected to continue his rehab in Oakland when the A's go to Seattle.
• The last time the White Sox opened a season with back-to-back one-run victories was in 2005, when they beat the Indians by 1-0 and 4-3 margins.
• Left-hander Eric Surkamp is set to join the A's on Thursday and will be activated the following day for a start against the Mariners in Seattle, pitching in place of Felix Doubront (elbow sprain).