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Sox's Kinney thrown into the fire

8/20/2011

CHICAGO -- The White Sox didn’t hesitate to throw their latest addition to the bullpen, Josh Kinney, into the fire. Kinney was added to the roster prior to Friday’s game after starter Phil Humber was placed on the disabled list after being struck in the forehead with a line drive Thursday night.

Kinney came in to Friday’s game in the seventh inning and pitched the remaining three innings, giving up only one hit, while walking one and striking out six in the White Sox 7-4 loss to the Texas Rangers.

“I'm not going out there trying to strike guys out,” Kinney said. “My game's kind of letting them put the ball in play and let the defense take care of it. It's just kind of the way it worked out [Friday] night. I was happy with the way I threw the ball and real happy to give the bullpen a break.”

Kinney may not be accustomed to throwing that many pitches, but he had no qualms with how he was used.

“Whatever man, I'll take the ball and one pitch at a time,” Kinney said. “I've never went three innings since college and I was glad to be able to do it. If that's what I've got to do, great, if it's a couple hitters, that's great too.”

Though Friday's contest was Kinney’s first appearance in the big leagues with the White Sox, he had spent parts of the previous five seasons pitching in St. Louis Cardinals organization. After making his major league debut in 2006, he missed the entire 2007 season due to Tommy John Surgery and didn’t return to the Cardinals until September 2008. Kinney then bounced between Triple-A and the majors in 2009 before spending all of the 2010 season in the minors. Kinney signed with the White Sox on January 9th, 2011.

“It's been a long road for me in my career,” Kinney said. “Just to get the call to come up here with these guys this time of year, with the position this team's in, it's pretty special. I can appreciate that. Forty games left to play and we're after something. It's pretty cool and I'm delighted to be here.”

Kinney had pitched well in 49 relief appearance with the White Sox's Triple-A affiliate, the Charlotte Knights. He posted a 2.77 ERA with 14 saves, while striking out 66 and only walking 17 in 61 2/3 innings pitched.

As impressive as Kinney’s numbers are, he raved about another hot prospect for the White Sox, Addison Reed. Reed has struck out 103 while only handing out 13 free passes in 70 2/3 innings at fours levels in the Sox minor league system.

“He's very mature for his age, his personality and his game on the field,” Kinney said of Reed, who was called up to Charlotte in late July. “He's locating the ball down with some heat on it. You get guys that throw 95, 97 at the knees on the corner, to do that a couple times, you say, 'Well, that's good. Can you do it again?' He's been really consistent. He's got great stuff and really good command.”