Bullpen still has many question marks

May, 23, 2013
5/23/13
12:49
AM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox could be prepared to make more roster moves in the near future to address a struggling bullpen.

They made one Wednesday when left-hander Donnie Veal was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte.

Addison Reed has been solid in the closer's role and Jesse Crain has taken over as the setup man. After that, the White Sox continue to have question marks with a group that was expected to be one of the team's strengths.

Over the past nine games, the bullpen has posted a 7.33 ERA. In that time, the relievers have raised their overall mark from 3.29 to 4.13.

Brian Omogrosso and Nate Jones each gave up two runs in Wednesday's 6-2 defeat to the Boston Red Sox, although one of Omogrosso's runs was unearned.

Jones, in particular, has been a concern for manager Robin Ventura and pitching coach Don Cooper. The hard-throwing right-hander was expected to build off his success as a rookie last season, when he posted an 8-0 record and a 2.39 ERA in 65 outings.

Instead, he has been plagued by control issues, with his 12 walks in 21 1/3 innings only telling part of the story. He had two more of those walks Wednesday.

"I think the command, that's the biggest thing. We need to get better with command," Ventura said. "They've got good stuff. Nate has velocity and everything else. If you can't control it and have confidence with it, guys can hit [pitchers] that throw hard if you don't really have control."

After giving up two runs in Wednesday's outing, Jones now has a 6.33 ERA and could be in danger of being sent down to work on both his control and his confidence.

One option for the White Sox if Jones goes down is to call up right-hander Ramon Troncoso, who has a 1.50 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP in 16 appearances at Triple-A Charlotte. He also has six saves and four walks to 11 strikeouts.

Troncoso, who has four years of major league experience with the Los Angeles Dodgers, had his best season in 2009, when he posted a 2.72 ERA over 73 appearances. He was a non-roster invitee to spring training after signing as a free agent in November.

Doug Padilla

Chicago White Sox beat reporter
Doug joined ESPN Chicago in July 2010 and covers the Chicago White Sox for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN Radio 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Chris Sale
WINS ERA SO IP
12 2.20 198 168
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Abreu .319
HRJ. Abreu 35
RBIJ. Abreu 103
RA. Ramirez 78
OPSJ. Abreu .975
ERAC. Sale 2.20
SOC. Sale 198