Chicago White Sox: Brian Omogrosso
Also opting for free agency were left-hander Leyson Septimo and catcher Hector Gimenez, who made the Opening Day roster and was then designated for assignment in July when Josh Phegley was promoted.
Omogrosso was outrighted last week along with right-hander Ramon Troncoso, as well as catchers Bryan Anderson and Miguel Gonzalez, as the White Sox looked to clear 40-man roster space for potential offseason acquisitions.
Omogrosso pitched in just 12 major league games this past season, posting an 0-2 record with a 9.37 ERA. He has a career 5.54 ERA over 39 big league appearances.
Septimo did not pitch in the major leagues in 2013. He had a 5.02 ERA in 21 relief appearances with the White Sox in 2012.
Gimenez had just 68 at-bats over 26 games before he was designated. He batted .191 with two home runs and 10 RBIs.
One year later, Addison Reed became the team's closer and this season he has continued to establish himself in one of baseball's key roles, all at the tender age of 24.
With trades and a retooled roster likely on the horizon, the White Sox figure to be in position to give more young prospects a chance to get their feet wet at baseball's highest level. This time, though, there could be a full two months available for the next generation of White Sox players.
Players at Triple-A Charlotte, such as Jordan Danks, Tyler Greene, Hector Gimenez, Brian Omogrosso, Zach Stewart and Steve Tolleson all have major league experience and could get the call to fill out any upcoming roster voids. But like Reed in 2011, there are a few players in the system that could possibly get their first crack at appearing in a major league game.
ANDRE RIENZO, RHP
With a rocky start to the season behind him, Rienzo looks to be headed toward a promotion to Chicago. The Futures Game participant is rolling now with a 2.05 ERA over his last 48 1/3 innings at Charlotte. In his final start of the first half before heading to New York for the Futures Game, he gave up one run on four hits in a complete game against Buffalo. The 25-year-old native of Brazil has 96 strikeouts this season in 100 2/3 innings.
ERIK JOHNSON, RHP
Heading toward the major leagues with a bullet, Johnson was slowed recently by a groin strain that landed him on the minor league disabled list. The White Sox will be careful with a rising star like this, so a little extra time to heal probably will be the preferred route. The fact that he is only in his second full minor league season is another reason not to rush the Northern California native so his realistic arrival is at least a year away.
The White Sox called up the right-hander not long after right-hander Brian Omogrosso was optioned back to Triple-A following a drubbing Friday against the Cleveland Indians when he gave up nine runs in 2 1/3 innings.
“Definitely I’m prepared,” said Castro, who had a 4.92 ERA at Charlotte this season and has no major league experience. “I’m working hard to be ready for that and I threw a couple of times out of the bullpen in Charlotte, so I feel pretty good.”
Ventura hinted early in the week that the White Sox were interested in adding a long reliever. But when Friday’s doubleheader came, the White Sox opted for an extra position player with Brent Morel.
Omogrosso’s outing opened the door for the White Sox to make the move they appeared to be ready to make anyway.
“What he would do is similar to what a long reliever/starter would do,” Ventura said. “He's in there, he's earned the right to be here filling in if we need him.”
In other words, it sounds like Castro would be limited to mop-up duty until he can prove himself.
Castro opened the season with 12 starts, but his last four outings have come in relief. It’s been somewhat of a rocky transition as he has given up two runs in two of the four outings, while pitching at least two innings in three of the four appearances.
Castro was acquired by the White Sox on Dec. 31, 2011 in the deal that sent Carlos Quentin to the San Diego Padres. The White Sox also acquired Pedro Hernandez in that move, but he was sent on to the Minnesota Twins in the deal that landed Francisco Liriano.
CHICAGO -- The good news for the Chicago White Sox is that outfielder Casper Wells helped save the bullpen in Game 1 of Friday’s doubleheader with a hitless ninth inning of relief.
Now the bad news: Wells was the best White Sox “pitcher” on the night and the only one not to give up a hit.
With White Sox pitchers getting clubbed hard, Wells finished the 19-10 defeat to the Cleveland Indians with his major league debut on the mound. A former pitcher in college, Wells gave up a walk while facing just four batters.
It will be the second stint with the White Sox this season for Omogrosso, who had a 5.14 ERA and 14 strikeouts over 11 appearances from May 1-June 6.
In five appearances (7 2/3 innings) this season, Heath posted a whopping 11.74 ERA. In his third and most recent stint with the White Sox he made just one appearance, giving up three runs in two innings Wednesday at Minnesota on three hits and four walks.
Omogrosso will be available out of the White Sox's bullpen Friday for the start of a three-game series at Kansas City. In 10 appearances at Triple-A Charlotte this season, the 29-year old posted a 4.91 ERA with two saves and 14 strikeouts.
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.
CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox missed out on their first series sweep of the season, falling 6-2 on Wednesday to the Boston Red Sox.
How it happened: David Ortiz blooped a two-run single into left field in the first inning and it ended up being enough for Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz. Hector Santiago, working on three days of rest as he took Chris Sale's turn in the rotation, recovered to give up just those two runs and three hits with four walks over six innings. He took a soft comebacker off his pitching hand in the first inning. White Sox relievers Brian Omogrosso and Nate Jones each gave up two runs as the Red Sox put the game away late. Paul Konerko hit a ninth-inning home run.
What it means: With John Danks expected to make his first start of the season Friday, Santiago took advantage of his last chance to make an impression. If Danks returns, either Santiago or Dylan Axelrod will be bumped from the starting staff. Santiago boasts the better stuff among the two, but Axelrod has proven himself to be a steady and savvy pitcher. One of Santiago's positives actually work against him, as he has more bullpen versatility than Axelrod.
Outside the box: The White Sox didn't get much offense against Buchholz, but Alex Rios found a way to contribute once again. Rios not only drove in a run with an RBI groundout in the third inning, he extended his career-best hitting streak to 17 games with a sixth-inning single. Rios' hit streak is the longest in the American League this season.
Offbeat: The White Sox will face their third interleague opponent of the season Friday, but the first one they have played host to as the Miami Marlins will be at U.S. Cellular Field for a three-game series. Normally solid in interleague play, the White Sox are just 1-4 this season after trips to Washington and New York to face the Mets. The White Sox are 164-124 (.569) all time in interleague play, the third-best winning percentage in baseball behind the Yankees (.604) and the Angels (.575).
Up next: The White Sox will have an off day Thursday before facing the Marlins. The White Sox have yet to name a starter for Friday, but it is likely that Danks will pitch in his first major league game in more than a year, opposite the Marlins' Tom Koehler (0-2, 2.82 ERA) in the 7:10 p.m. start from U.S. Cellular Field.
With a victory well within their grasp, the White Sox managed to lose yet another one to the Kansas City Royals when closer Addison Reed followed two walks with a two-out, two-run, game-tying double in the bottom of the ninth inning.
That is the same Reed who had converted 17 consecutive save chances going back to last season and 10 of his first 10 chances to start this season.
The Chicago White Sox figured out yet another way to lose a game at Kansas City, falling 6-5 in 10 innings Sunday to the Royals.
How it happened: The bullpen led directly to the latest defeat at Kansas City as closer Addison Reed gave up two runs in the ninth inning and Brian Omogrosso gave up one in the 10th to end it. The White Sox are now 9-20 over their past 29 games at Kauffman Stadium. Before Reed’s blown save, the White Sox looked to be set up for the victory with a four-run seventh inning that was highlighted by Alejandro De Aza’s two-run double. White Sox starter Jose Quintana went five innings, giving up three runs on six hits. Billy Butler had a two-run double for the Royals in the ninth and Alex Gordon had the game-ending hit.
What it means: It can be argued that the White Sox play against the Royals last season cost them a chance at the playoffs. This season, though, the Royals are merely piling on to the White Sox’s woes. The White Sox were just 6-12 against the Royals last season and ran out of gas in September as the Detroit Tigers went on to win the American League Central. The White Sox have now lost seven of their past eight games at Kansas City and 13 of their past 17.
Outside the box: Reed blew a save opportunity for the first time this season, ending a perfect 10-for-10 run to begin 2013. Dating back to last season, Reed had converted 17 consecutive save opportunities. The last time he was not able to close out a game in a save situation was Aug. 24 of last year, when he gave up three runs (two earned) in two-thirds of an inning against the Seattle Mariners. He ended up getting the victory in that game, though, when the White Sox came back to win it.
Off beat: Adam Dunn’s at-bat in the seventh inning was actually one of the few times this season when he benefited from the infield shift. With three infielders on the right side, Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar cut in front of second baseman Miguel Tejada to field a Dunn ground ball and couldn’t make the play, which went down as a single. Because Dunn has had trouble hitting balls in the air, when he does happen to make contact, he has grounded out a number of times this season against a loaded right side of the infield.
Up next: The White Sox will send left-hander Chris Sale (3-2, 3.83 ERA) to the mound Monday at Kansas City in a makeup game that was scheduled after Friday’s game was rained out. The Royals will counter with right-hander James Shields (2-2, 3.00 ERA) in the 1:10 p.m. CT start from Kauffman Stadium.
Omogrosso, 29, joined the Sox before Wednesday night's game against the Texas Rangers. He learned of his promotion at 1 a.m. and was in the visitors clubhouse in Arlington 12 hours later.
In 17 relief outings with the White Sox as a rookie in 2012, Omogrosso had a 2.57 ERA with 18 strikeouts in 17 innings. He allowed only one earned run in his final seven appearances, a span of nine innings.
With Charlotte this season, Omogrosso is 0-1 with a 6.52 ERA with nine strikeouts in seven 9.2 innings.
"I was nervous last year with it being my first time up," the 6-foot-4, 240-pounder said. "It helps to have another year of experience and knowing the guys more. You play your whole life for this opportunity."
White Sox manager Robin Ventura said Veal had "things he needed to work on," but the team doesn’t have the luxury to wait for development.
Veal, 28, was 1-0 with a 4.26 ERA in 6 1/3 innings and one hold in 12 relief appearances.
Veal was brought in to face left-handed hitting Mitch Moreland but was touched for an RBI double, the first of six Texas runs in the sixth inning of a 10-6 White Sox loss Tuesday.
Ventura said that after this move, the White Sox will be less likely to call on a reliever to work just one batter with fewer left-handers in the bullpen.
Where Chris Sale and Jake Peavy are being looked upon to give the White Sox a chance to win each and every night they take the mound, a different pair will be entrusted to make sure late leads aren't squandered.
That's the initial thought, anyway, as closer Addison Reed figures to have a fellow flame-throwing co-conspirator in Nate Jones, who is primed to become a full-time setup man. Manager Robin Ventura tried to suggest over the winter that the closer spot is up for grabs, but the job clearly belongs to Reed for now.
Add that Reed-Jones combination to veteran relievers Matt Thornton and Jesse Crain, not to mention newcomer Matt Lindstrom, and the White Sox have a group to envy.
Complementing that well-rounded collection of arms will be the versatile Hector Santiago, who can not only pitch late in games if needed, he can also be used in long relief. Add the fact that he is left-handed and Santiago could find himself in any of a number of roles this season, including spot starter if needed.
Depth has also shown itself this spring. Brian Omogrosso has pitched well and could land a roster spot if Crain isn't able to start the season on time because of a muscle strain in his right leg. Newcomer Ramon Troncoso appears to have recaptured some of the form that helped him to become a mainstay in the Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen for a few seasons.
Add to that the performances in Arizona of Daniel Moskos and Jhan Marinez, and the White Sox feel they have replacement pieces that could come in handy as the season progresses.
THREE KEYS TO SUCCESS
As the veterans of the bullpen, Thornton and Crain will need to be steadying influences. For Thornton that means overcoming inconsistencies that have cropped up over the past few seasons and be the left-handed reliever the White Sox can rely on. Including this spring, Crain is starting to show he is susceptible to nagging injuries at age 31. When healthy, Crain has shown he is more than good enough to get the job done so avoiding the injury bug will be huge.
Lindstrom brings another live arm to go along with Reed and Jones and if he can get into a groove, the White Sox can be brutal to contend with after the sixth inning. Lindstrom has spent most of his big-league time in the National League, but in 34 games with the Baltimore Orioles last season he delivered a 2.72 ERA and had 30 strikeouts to 12 walks, while opponents hit .254 against him.
Nothing beats a cost-effective young closer like Addison Reed, especially since his low price tag gives the Chicago White Sox the opportunity to spend on other areas of the bullpen.
Jesse Crain and Matt Thornton, the bullpen veterans, will split $10 million between them with there still a little left over to bring in a hard-throwing newcomer in Matt Lindstrom, who will pocket $2.3 million this season. The rest of the relief help falls into the "affordable" category.
The back end of the bullpen appears to be solid, but the White Sox still can't ignore other areas. Finding a quality long man (or two) will be vital, especially with starter John Danks returning from injury and any efforts the club might undertake to maintain Chris Sale's innings.
So far, the only thing the White Sox are saying in regard to Sale is that he will get a later start than others in spring training and no mention has been made on a targeted inning count for 2013. Sale threw 192 innings in 2012.
Addison Reed, RHP: The young talent was far from the only one who dealt with a late-season swoon. It's easy to see that Reed trailed off last season with an 8.00 ERA in September and an opponents' batting average of .351 in the month. Reed's most ardent supporters, though, will point a handful of outings, especially the six runs he allowed May 13, as the reason for his untidy 4.75 ERA. The bottom line is that consistency will be Reed's aim this season and his first full season of experience should help him get there. He plans on using a new cardio program to help with stamina throughout the summer.
Jesse Crain, RHP: A strained left oblique and a strained right shoulder disrupted a 2012 season but the year still wasn't a lost cause. Crain managed to make 51 appearances (48 innings) while posting a 2.44 ERA to go along with four saves and two victories. His 1.08 WHIP was his best since posting a 1.07 mark in his rookie season of 2004 with the Minnesota Twins. He is expected to pitch for Canada in the WBC.
Nate Jones, RHP: In the epitome of a surprise breakout season, Jones managed to skip the Triple-A level entirely by earning a roster spot with a solid 2012 spring training. His 2.39 ERA and 8-0 rookie marks signal that the sky's the limit for the hard thrower from Kentucky. At SoxFest manager Robin Ventura told the crowd that Jones would be able to challenge Reed for the closer spot. Ventura's wink afterward suggested Reed will keep his job, but there is still no mistaking the White Sox like what they have in Jones.
Matt Lindstrom, RHP: If Reed and Jones represent the hard-throwing youngsters, Lindstrom is the older equivalent. He will turn 33 on Monday but still relies on the velocity of his youth. Despite pitching in both leagues last season (with Arizona and Baltimore), he still posted a 2.68 ERA over 48 outings. Finally getting a chance to pick his own club via free agency, Lindstrom says he delayed the process this winter in order to hear from the White Sox. He's right where he wants to be now.
Hector Santiago, LHP: If Danks isn't ready to start the season on time, Santiago could end up getting some early starts. Either way, he should be a key member of the bullpen as a long man, and his ability to rack up innings would help ease the early innings count on the recovering Danks. If Gavin Floyd can't work his way back toward 200 innings, Santiago could be in for a long, grueling season.
Dylan Axelrod, RHP: Also in the competition for any early Danks starts, Axelrod could also help in the long man department. It isn't likely the White Sox carry two long men, but if either Axelrod or Santiago is starting at any point then a bullpen spot would be available for the other.
Donnie Veal, LHP: With Santiago and Thornton in the bullpen, the White Sox have coverage from the left side. But Veal could end up being a lefty specialist like the White Sox tried to do with Will Ohman in recent years.
Other bullpen options include Deunte Heath, Brian Omogrosso and Leyson Septimo, who all saw some action with the White Sox last season. Non-roster invitees to camp with major-league experience include Jeff Gray, who pitched 52 innings for the Twins last season, and Ramon Troncoso, who was a key member of the Los Angeles Dodgers' bullpen that made back-to-back NLCS appearances in 2008 and 2009.
The Chicago White Sox announced six rosters moves on Saturday.
The White Sox reinstated catcher Tyler Flowers from the paternity leave list, returned infielder Orlando Hudson and relief pitcher Leyson Septimo from their injury rehabilitation assignments and reinstated them from the 15-day disabled list, recalled relief pitchers Deunte Heath and Brian Omogrosso from Triple-A Charlotte and purchased the contract of infielder Dan Johnson from Triple-A.
Flowers was placed on the paternity list on Aug. 30 for the birth of his first child, Mia Therese.
Hudson has been on the disabled list since Aug. 17 with a contusion of the first metatarsal joint in his left foot. He is hitting .182 with two home runs and 11 RBIs in 36 games with the White Sox this season.
Septimo has been on disabled list since Aug. 17 with left biceps inflammation. He is 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA in 12 appearances for the White Sox this season.
Heath is making his second stint with the White Sox this season. He did not play when he was with the team from July 4-8. He went 4-3 with a 1.48 ERA in 36 appearances in Charlotte this season.
Omogrosso is 0-0 with a 4.26 ERA in five appearances for the White Sox this season. He was 0-2 with a 4.56 ERA and nine saves in 33 appearances in Charlotte.
Johnson is making his first appearance with the White Sox this season. He batted. 267 with 28 home runs and 85 RBIs in 137 games in Charlotte this season.
The White Sox’s active roster was increased to 31 and the 40-man roster went to 40.
After seven seasons in the organization, the 27-year-old Omogrosso will make his major league debut whenever he gets in to a game with the White Sox, possibly as soon as Friday night against the New York Yankees. Omogrosso has a 4.09 ERA with 40 strikeouts in 33 innings over 21 games with Charlotte.
Bruney picked up a win in his only appearance of the season against Milwaukee on June 24.