Tuesday, June 9, 2009
ChiSox unveil top prospect
The Chicago Tribune's Mark Gonzalez reports that the White Sox have summoned one of their top prospects:
Left-hander Aaron Poreda confirmed Tuesday morning that he has been promoted from Double-A Birmingham to the White Sox and will be at U.S. Cellular Field in time for Tuesday night's game against Detroit. As RotoWorld notes, Bartolo Colon's not been good in his last two starts; this was Ozzie Guillen's reaction after the last one:
Poreda, who has a 2.38 earned run average in 11 starts to go with 69 strikeouts in 64 1/3 innings, said he hasn't been told what role he will perform. He was used as a reliever during the Arizona Fall League.
"It's amazing," Poreda said of his promotion after being selected in the first round of the 2007 draft. "I don't think it's sunk in yet."
Poreda said a key development in his success has been the mastering of a sharp-breaking slider for strikes to complement his 96 m.p.h. fastball, as well as a change-up.
"Colon has to throw more than fastballs," Guillen said. "He's not going to lead the American League with just fastballs. I don't care how much the ball moves. He has to come up with another pitch -- slider, changeup, curve, whatever it is because he's not going to get anybody out in the American League with just fastballs.'' Guillen stopped short of saying Colon's future with the Sox is in jeopardy, but with Jose Contreras returning today, the rotation is going to be reconfigured. Oddly enough, Colon's 4.23 ERA is the second best in the rotation, behind Mark Buehrle (2.91 ERA) and Clayton Richard (4.14) but well ahead of John Danks (5.10) and Gavin Floyd (5.35). Considering that Danks and Floyd both pitched similarly well last season, and are pitching similarly poorly this season, it's hard to figure which one of them would get chucked. And considering that Colon has a lower K/BB ratio and a higher HR/9 ratio than both of them, he seems like the No. 1 candidate if someone is going to get chucked.
Obviously it's a big jump for Poreda -- from the 27th pick in the draft to the Southern League to a major league rotation in just two years -- but he routinely throws in the mid-90s and entered this spring as Chicago's No. 3 prospect. One concern: He has walked 35 batters in 64 innings this spring. One bright spot: He's given up just one home run in 64 innings this spring.
Pitching for the White Sox, Poreda figures to give up more homers and more walks, which makes me wonder if he's ready right now to contribute to a pennant-winning club. However, with Poreda and Richard, and the still-young Danks and Floyd and the steady Buehrle, the White Sox do have the makings of a solid rotation for years to come.