The White Sox bullpen issues are real, but the club isn’t ready to make any changes yet.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura said Sunday the team won’t make any changes as of now despite a rough start for several pitchers. Overall, the team’s relievers have a 7.53 ERA in 34 2/3 innings as the group has allowed 42 hits and walked 23.
While several rookies have showed promise, several veterans have struggled. Ronald Belisario has a 15.19 ERA in 5 1/3 innings, lefty-specialist Scott Downs has walked four batters in 1 2/3 innings and Donnie Veal has put 12 men on base in five innings. Even closer Matt Lindstrom has been scored upon in two of four apppearances.
“Eventually changes are part of the game if things don’t get better,” Ventura said. “That’s just part of what we do. It’s possible at some point. Right now I don’t foresee it.”
Ventura and general manager Rick Hahn had a closed-door meeting for 15 to 20 minutes on Sunday. Those meetings aren’t uncommon as the two routinely meet to discuss what’s going on with the club. But the pitching staff, or at least certain members of a group that has walked 51 batters (23 have resulted in runs), likely were discussed on Sunday.
Saturday’s starter, Felipe Paulino, also was a likely focal point as he has only accrued 14 2/3 innings through three starts.
“We always talk about it,” Ventura said. “Whether it’s going good or whether it’s going bad, you’re always talking about it. Also with the hitters and everything else. You know the old saying you’re only as happy as your least happy kid? That’s what it is with a team. You’re always concerned about the guys that maybe aren’t feeling as good or aren’t doing as well. Is it the bullpen? Is it the pitchers? Yeah. I think when a guy only goes five, you’re concerned about him and you want to get him better. Hitters who aren’t doing well, you do the same thing.”
— The White Sox will host a Jackie Robinson panel on Tuesday morning for area student-athletes. Among those on the panel will be team chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, executive vice president Kenny Williams and Dr. Carol Downs. Students from Kenwood Academy, King College Prep, Leo High School, Seton Academy and Simeon Career Academy will attend.
— Ventura confirmed outfielder Avisail Garcia would have season-ending labrum surgery on Tuesday.