Scott Carroll providing White Sox value in long relief

Scott Carroll providing White Sox value in long relief
June 7, 2014, 9:00 pm
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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Just because he’s the mop-up man doesn’t mean Scott Carroll has no importance to the White Sox.

On the contrary, the White Sox see plenty of value in a pitcher who can step into the game on a few moments notice and do the job of several relievers by eating innings.

Carroll has done just that since he moved into the long relief role in late May as has accumulated 13 innings over four appearances, including 4 1/3 on Friday.

“That role is valuable because you can blow up your bullpen where you won’t recover for maybe a week or a week and a half if you blow those guys out,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “It’s important because you want everybody to be able to go out there and feeling pretty strong about going out there doing their job. That’s important. For him to be able to come in and do it has been a big deal for us.”

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Carroll hasn’t done a bad job at the role, either.

Even though it’s a fairly new assignment, Carroll has a 2.08 ERA over 13 innings as a reliever. On Friday, Carroll allowed a run and two hits over 4 1/3 innings after he took over for Andre Rienzo, who exited in the fourth inning after giving up seven runs.

Carroll’s ability to pitch multiple innings has allowed Ventura to keep from using other pitchers in games where the outcome has almost been decided.

“It takes a while to bounce back from that,” Ventura said. “We could have went through five guys last night, and basically we went through one, two guys. It’s always dicey, but you need a guy like that to be able to come in there and calm things down.”

[MLB DRAFT: White Sox MLB Draft Tracker: Day 3]

No change for Rienzo

The White Sox have listed their probable pitchers all the way through Thursday’s series finale against the Detroit Tigers. While that’s not too far off, it marks one of the few times early in the season where the White Sox have had stability in the rotation.

That consistency includes Rienzo, who will get the ball once again on Wednesday against Detroit despite having lost his last three starts. Rienzo has lasted a combined 12 innings in those three turns, allowing 15 runs (12 earned). Whereas Rienzo had a 4.00 ERA after seven games (six starts), his ERA currently sits at 5.25.

But Ventura said the White Sox will stay with their rookie starter.

“Right now, he’s going to be still in there,” Ventura said. “You go through spurts where he’s been giving us a chance, and then you see an inning like last night where he just can’t close it out.

“He can’t get out of that inning and falls behind and just does stuff to put himself in a little more danger than he has in previous starts.”

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Other notes

— The White Sox lost Friday for only the fourth time in 20 games when they have hit two home runs. Both Alejandro De Aza and Adam Dunn went deep in the loss.

— Pitching coach Don Cooper has only heard limited reports on reliever Nate Jones (sore back). Cooper said the most recent report from trainer Herm Schneider suggested Jones, who had back surgery more than a month ago, is having more good days than bad ones.

— Of their 30 picks on the final day of the draft, the White Sox used 13 on pitchers, including their 14th-rounder on Bryce Montes de Oca. The right-hander, who has had reconstructive elbow surgery, is a top recruit of Missouri and is expected to keep his commitment to the Tigers, per MLB.com’s Jim Callis. The team also grabbed Joliet natives third baseman Kevin Swick and catcher Michael Hollenbeck with their 22nd and 23rd picks. Chicago preps Anthony Justiniano (Roberto Clemente Community Academy) and James Davison (Morgan Park) were drafted in the 38th and 39th rounds.