Oh boy the back end of the bullpen. This is not necessarily the area of the most interest or sexiness in light of the 1-8 road trip the White Sox just completed to pitch them out of the realm of teams at .500 or better, but they just jostled that pen up quite a bit. For every action, there has been a reaction.
Jake Peavy to the disabled list begat Hector Santiago to the starting rotation
Something that does become more interesting when a team is duking it out with the Royals to stay out of the AL Central cellar is finding out whether Hector Santiago can continue to strike out a batter per inning, while curbing the practices of walking a batter every other inning or allowing a home run every start. It’s worth the time to find out if he can stick in a rotation, and the White Sox have got nothing but time. Their world is just beginning.
Brian Omogrosso optioned because…reasons?
Captain Omo has certainly struggled this season, gotten tagged for hits, been annihilated by left-handers to a truly hysterical degree and walked more batters than is typically desired, but his peripherals are similar to last season–he has the exact same unremarkable 2.0 K/BB ratio.
He looks the same, which is to say he looks underwhelming and not like a strong candidate for a larger role. He is certainly the type of guy who you’d expect to shuffle back and forth between the 25-man roster and Charlotte, but he hasn’t had a “GET HIM THE HELL OUTTA HERE’ performance recently.
Actually, Omogrosso just put together three-straight scoreless appearances and really had his slider working when he struck out three over 2.1 innings on Tuesday. If anything, I imagine those three appearances are the culprit, since Omogrosso has now thrown four innings in three appearances in three days. Might as well option him with instruction to give him a couple days off and bring in some depth in his stead. He won’t be offended.
Brian Omogrosso and Hector Santiago leaving the bullpen begat Ramon Troncoso and Deunte Heath getting called up
How do we expect Deunte Heath to get used to throwing strikes in major league games if he keeps receiving the negative reinforcement of having his pitches in the zone blasted to Alpha Centauri? All of Heath’s career stats are bad, but the 37 batters that have faced him having a .321 ISO stood out. Hitters have absolutely been killing the ball off him.
Certainly there’s more to Heath than the drastically erratic tomato can he’s been in 7.2 innings of big league action–he was a dominant Triple-A reliever last season– but there’s a level of concern in him being completely shelled in four of the seven times he’s strode out to a major league mound. Leyson Septimo had more flashes of brilliance early on than this.
Ramon Troncoso has been succeeding in Triple-A to the tune of 2.19 ERA in a bunch of ways that don’t seem like they’ll translate in Chicago: stranding runners, limiting damage, avoiding walks and not overpowering anyone.
Maybe it’s a velo fascination contracted from too much time spent watching the White Sox, but give me an unrefined converted shortstop who throws 101 mph over any of these guys.
This is all negative, but it’s also the last two slots of the bullpen, you’re not allowed to get too worked up one way or the other. Just sit there and try to have a good weekend. You deserve it! Yes, you!
Follow James Fegan on Twitter @JRFegan