In May and June, the 25-year-old left-handed pitcher Jace Fry was the go-to guy in the White Sox bullpen.
Now that July is here, the White Sox relief pitcher is having some serious troubles.
Will there be relief in sight? (Yes, that pun was totally intended).
Dominating in May and June
Fry has been practically unhittable through the first two months of what will be considered his rookie season. In 12 innings of work in May, his ERA was 0.75 with a BABIP of .192. The White Sox sorely needed to have someone in the bullpen who could do the job of putting up goose eggs. And, Fry was could do it when, really, no one else in the pen could.
This almost seemed fluky, to see a 25-year-old rookie (his birthday was July 9) putting up relief numbers like this. On a team in a rebuild, too. But, he continued to do it in June. He wasn’t as good, but his June numbers resulted in an ERA of 2.84 and a BABIP of .152. This was in 12.2 innings of work.
Maybe Fry wasn’t a fluke.
A July to forget
Then, July arrived. In four games and a total of 3.2 innings of work, Fry’s July numbers have dropped off dramatically. In those 3.2 innings in July, he has an ERA of 19.64 and a BABIP of .500. It’s like he’s become a completely different pitcher.
Prior to July, Fry was striking out nearly a batter per inning. He’s still getting the strikeouts, but batters are getting hits and are scoring runs.
There is one redeeming quality that Fry has maintained throughout the season: he has only given up one home run. June 2, against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Not his first rodeo
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Fry pitched a few innings in 2017 and it didn’t go well. His cup of coffee included 6.2 innings and 36 batters. He ended his September call-up with an ERA of 10.80 and a BABIP of .407. He started the 2018 season in the minors but was deservedly called up in May.
Fry’s value to the team in May and June has not gone unnoticed. His outstanding performance was noticed by James Fegan with The Athletic.com and Sean Hammond with the Daily Herald. Fry’s collection of pitches makes him a unique relief pitcher, but right now, it seems like nothing is working the way he needs it to work.
Extensive college experience
Fry is no stranger to high-stakes pitching. At Oregon State, he was named the 2014 PAC-12 Pitcher of the Year. That same year, OSU was seeded first coming into the NCAA Division 1 Baseball Tournament. They made it to the Regional Final. Just getting this far is an accomplishment for any school and Fry contributed to the team’s success. In 2013, OSU made it all the way to the Semi-Finals in the tournament – just steps away from winning the whole darn thing. Fry knows how to win.
Hopefully, with his background on the mound, Fry will get his issues figured out so he can continue to be an asset in tight situations.