Contreras out, Richard in

May, 12, 2009
5/12/09
1:27
PM ET
Well, it took an 0-5 record and an 8.19 ERA. But the White Sox got Jose Contreras through waivers and have dispatched him to the International League for a bit of seasoning. Next:
    In the meantime, the White Sox have called up left-handed pitcher Jimmy Gobble from Triple-A Charlotte to plug into the bullpen. Left-handed pitcher Clayton Richard will start Tuesday night's game in Cleveland and become the temporary replacement for Contreras.

    Contreras had to clear waivers, which meant all 29 teams had 48 hours to claim him and his $8 million-plus contract that remains from his $11 million salary.

    In particular, Contreras will work on his split-fingered pitch, which he has not been able to command against left-handed hitters this season.

Nobody wanted to pay Contreras $8 million? Shocking.

I would not, on the other hand, be shocked if Richard winds up as more than a "temporary replacement." He doesn't have a great deal of professional experience, but in 128 Double- and Triple-A innings he's got a brilliant strikeout-to-walk ratio and a 2.47 ERA. It's not clear that his stuff will play nearly as well in the majors, and to this point he's been notable mostly for a crazy-deceptive pickoff move. But if I have to guess which is more likely to be starting for the White Sox in August -- Richard or Contreras -- I'm going with the kid rather than the 37-year-old who's supposedly forgotten how to throw his best pitch.

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