Rotation challenges exposed in twin bill

July, 2, 2014
Jul 2
12:07
AM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- The two weak links that have been in the Chicago White Sox's starting rotation since the season started were both exposed in one evening Tuesday.

Hector Noesi and Scott Carroll were asked to get the best of the Los Angeles Angels in a doubleheader, and neither could come through, with walks playing a huge factor.

Noesi walked seven over five innings in his Game 1 defeat, while Carroll walked three, but two of those came to start the seventh inning when the Angels eventually added an insurance run that helped them to a sweep.

[+] EnlargeHector Noesi
Mike DiNovo/USA TODAY SportsHector Noesi walked seven over five innings in his Game 1 defeat.
The Angels won the opener 8-4 and took the second game 7-5.

When the season started, Erik Johnson and Felipe Paulino were supposed to be the rotation answers, but both fell flat. Since then, Noesi, Carroll and Andre Rienzo have all been given the chance to start, while Charlie Leesman has even gotten one turn.

Noesi has done the best with his opportunity, but his outing Tuesday shows that he remains a work in progress after pitching out of the bullpen before stretching out his pitch count on the fly as a starter with the White Sox.

Manager Robin Ventura was asked if the team is playing catch-up ever since Johnson and Paulino started slowly.

“Today it looks like that but Hector has thrown well for us his last few starts,” Ventura said. “That fifth sport has rotated around with Scotty and Rienzo. You have to make do; you have to find somebody to do it. It’s that simple.”

Noesi had actually gone 2-1 with a 3.59 ERA over his past six starts, but was nowhere near that form Tuesday, even though he held the Angels hitless through the first four innings and ended up striking out seven.

“I didn't really feel my release point, you know,” Noesi said. “Seven walks you can see, that's my first time doing that. I was trying to do my best.”

Ventura said he has no plans to remove Carroll from the rotation after the right-hander returned to a starting role just last week.

“I definitely want to take control of that spot and show them that I have the ability and talent to do so,” Carroll said. “I made really good pitches early on in the game. Sometimes the ball just doesn't go your way. I'm going to continue to work hard and train to be better next time.”

It’s not like the White Sox have a bunch of starting options right now, so the best way to get the most out of the guys they have is to cut down on the combined 10 walks issued by Tuesday’s starters.

“That’s a point where all you’re doing is giving them free baserunners,” Ventura said. "You want to make them work for [it], and you’re not. The intention has to be if you’re giving up runs you can’t make it too easy. On our side, we realize how tough it is if you’re not going well. You’ve got to throw strikes.”

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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BA LEADER
Jose Abreu
BA HR RBI R
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OTHER LEADERS
HRJ. Abreu 35
RBIJ. Abreu 105
RA. Ramirez 80
OPSJ. Abreu .971
WC. Sale 12
ERAC. Sale 2.20
SOC. Sale 198