Chicago White Sox: Ramon Troncoso

Sox's Troncoso on DL with heart issue

August, 18, 2013
8/18/13
3:00
AM CT
By Associated Press
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Chicago White Sox placed right-handed reliever Ramon Troncoso on the disabled list Saturday with inflammation of the lining around his heart.

To take his spot on the roster, Chicago purchased the contract of Jake Petricka.

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Pitching in: Wells has hitless ninth

June, 28, 2013
6/28/13
9:13
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Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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WellsJerry Lai/USA TODAY SportsSox outfielder Casper Wells pitched one scoreless inning in Game 1 Friday.


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.

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Miscues galore haunt White Sox

June, 11, 2013
6/11/13
11:58
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Padilla By Doug Padilla
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CHICAGO -- The game-tying home run the Chicago White Sox gave up in the ninth got the most attention. But a plethora of other miscues ended up being the biggest problem Tuesday and is a major concern moving forward.

The White Sox have struggled all season to put together a solid brand of baseball, and in Tuesday’s 7-5 defeat to the Toronto Blue Jays in 10 innings all of their issues surfaced.

There was poor base running, untidy defense and shaky play that might have been brushed aside if Addison Reed had been able to put a ninth-inning slider where he wanted. Instead, Reed’s 1-2 pitch with two outs was up in the strike zone and crushed for a towering homer by the Blue Jays’ Jose Bautista.

The White Sox went on to the lose the game when reliever Ramon Troncoso gave up one run in the ninth inning on a wild pitch and another when catcher Tyler Flowers couldn’t handle a throw to the plate to make a tag.

“It’s my job to get those three outs and I didn’t do it,” Reed said. “Offense, pitching did everything to get the ball in my hands in the situation we wanted it. We had the lead and I came in and left with it tied, so I feel it’s all on me, and I’ll take full responsibility for it.”

It was a noble gesture to fall on the sword, but there were plenty of others responsible for what happened.

Alexei Ramirez, Conor Gillaspie and Flowers all made errors. Flowers had a second-inning passed ball that allowed a run to score. There was Troncoso’s wild pitch that Flowers couldn’t corral with a backhand.

There also were baserunning issues galore, including those by Ramirez (doubled off second base on a line drive); and Gordon Beckham (last out of the inning at third base); and Alejandro De Aza (picked off first base); and Dayan Viciedo (thrown out trying to advance on a ball that got away from the catcher).

“It was one of those where we kept shooting ourselves in the foot, running the bases,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “Any time you lose like that, it doesn’t feel good. You come down and you get the last strike, especially the way it went earlier, it’s one of those for [Reed]. He’s human and it’s going to happen.

“You figure it’s going to happen eventually, but you just never like it when it happens. He should have had a bigger cushion than that. That’s the way it goes.”

The White Sox were poised to break things open in the fifth inning with the bases loaded and nobody out. But Paul Konerko struck out and Dunn lined into a double play, with Ramirez well off the bat at second.

After that a lively White Sox offense began to slumber as Blue Jays pitchers retired 14 of the next 15 batters.

“It’s been worse than that,” Ventura said of all the mistakes. “You do that and you still have a chance to win the game. We’ll address it and come back [Wednesday].”

The White Sox were so close to their second four-game winning streak of the season. Now they’ll try to start a new streak a day after one of the sloppiest games of the season.

“I think it’s just a matter of winning a few games in a row and not letting this one get us down,” said Matt Thornton, who used an eighth-inning double play to get himself out of a pitching jam. “Get a win (Wednesday), go into the off day and go on the road and play well there.”

“We’re going to lose games the rest of the way,” he said. “But it’s a matter of stringing a bunch of wins together in between those losses.”

White Sox remain patient with Jones

May, 28, 2013
5/28/13
6:52
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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[+] EnlargeNate Jones
Brian Kersey/Getty ImagesSox reliever Nate Jones is struggling in his second year in the majors.
CHICAGO -- For Chicago White Sox reliever Nate Jones it isn’t necessarily what he’s throwing when he’s on the mound, it’s where he’s throwing it.

As Jones has failed to locate his pitches this season, his struggles seem to have grown exponentially worse, with his most recent stumble coming Monday against the Chicago Cubs when he gave up three runs in his lone inning of work.

As of now, the White Sox have not decided to send Jones back to Triple-A Charlotte to get back on track, even though right-hander Ramon Troncoso has a 1.35 ERA with the Knights in 18 appearances (20 innings) and could provide bullpen support in Chicago.

“Right now (Jones) needs to fix it here,” manager Robin Ventura said. “We've seen it. It's there. I don't know if it's the lack of confidence or what. Stuff-wise, it's not a velocity issue at all. It's going to be more location and the confidence of being able to continue to do that.”

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White Sox move frees roster spot

May, 23, 2013
5/23/13
4:55
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
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The Chicago White Sox placed infielder Angel Sanchez on waivers Thursday, opening a spot on the 40-man roster.

CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reported that if Sanchez gets through waivers, the White Sox will offer the Rule 5 selection back to his former team, the Los Angeles Angels.

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Bullpen still has many question marks

May, 23, 2013
5/23/13
12:49
AM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
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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.

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White Sox season preview: Bullpen

March, 27, 2013
3/27/13
6:54
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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Addison ReedSteven Bisig/US PresswireAddison Reed had 29 saves for the White Sox last season.
The Chicago White Sox's 1-2 punch at the top of the starting rotation will be complemented this season by the 1-2 punch at the back end of 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

[+] EnlargeMatt Lindstrom
Rick Scuteri/USA TODAY SportsNewcomer Matt Lindstrom gives the White Sox another veteran arm to add to the bullpen mix.
• If Reed hears Jones' footsteps behind him, that could end up being a good thing. For some, the idea that a teammate might be gaining on you and about to take your job could prove uneasy. More solid work from Jones could create that scenario, but Reed has shown that he can use pressure situations to his advantage. After all, last season he posted a 3.56 ERA over 30 1/3 innings of save situations and a 6.20 ERA over 24 2/3 innings in non-save situations.

• 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.

Liner to face least of Troncoso's concerns

February, 13, 2013
2/13/13
4:06
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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Ramon TroncosoJayne Kamin-Oncea/ US PresswireRamon Troncoso last pitched in the major leagues with the Dodgers in 2011.
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- It only takes a casual look at the potential Chicago White Sox roster to realize that non-roster reliever Ramon Troncoso is going to have a tough making it to Chicago for Opening Day.

That's fine with the right-hander, who has four years of major league experience with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

You want challenges? Troncoso has been through them and getting hit in the face with a line drive during winter ball last month was simply the latest.

As an unheralded pitcher in spring training for the Dodgers in 2008, Troncoso forced his way onto the Opening Day roster, primarily with a plus fastball. He was eventually send down, but called up again in June and was a member of the club's playoff run that year.

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Sox spring training preview: Bullpen

February, 5, 2013
2/05/13
1:59
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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Addison ReedMike DiNovo/US PresswireThe White Sox hope to get a more consistent Addison Reed in his second season.
Doug Padilla previews the White Sox by position in the days leading up to pitchers and catchers reporting for spring training on Feb. 12.

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.

[+] EnlargeMatt Thornton
Mike DiNovo/US PresswireMatt Thornton posted 10 losses last season but still managed a 3.46 ERA.
Matt Thornton, LHP: Once again, there will be a lot expected from one of the veteran anchors of the White Sox's bullpen. It's perhaps a tall order considering that Thornton's 10 losses were easily the most of all left-handers last year and were tied for the most among all relievers in baseball. Add to that four blown saves as the carnage mounted. Through it all, Thornton did manage seven saves and an ERA under 3.50. His veteran presence will be leaned on heavily.

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.

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