MINNEAPOLIS — Robin Ventura said it might be a few days before the White Sox make a decision on their starting rotation.
Noting he’s “still sleeping on it,” the White Sox manager doesn’t have a ton of options if he removes Andre Rienzo from the rotation. Scott Carroll, who has been great as the team’s long reliever, is the likeliest choice to replace Rienzo if the White Sox decide to go that route.
The problem is that Carroll has pitched so well in long relief he’s almost too valuable to move, Ventura said. Carroll has a 1.83 ERA over 19 2/3 innings since he was moved into the bullpen.
“That would be the option is to flip-flop,” Ventura said. “Right now, I don’t know if you can necessarily just put Andre out in the bullpen. The way Scotty throws strikes, you like if you are going to bring a guy in out of the bullpen, he’s going to be able to do what Scotty has done.”
Rienzo started 4-0 but has struggled since, losing his last five starts.
He has an 8.86 ERA in those games, accruing a total of 22 1/3 innings.
Though Rienzo has had issues, Carroll said he’s just worried about making sure he gets outs in the bullpen.
“It’s not something I can focus on, nor do I choose to focus on,” Carroll said. “My job right now is to come out of the bullpen and get guys out and help our bullpen out and I’m just trying to do that to the best of my ability.”
His task has been made easier by the addition of a cut-fastball that he added to his repertoire over the last month with the aid of Don Cooper. Carroll has thrown the pitch 28 times to complement his sinker.
Ventura thinks the new pitch has been key to Carroll’s success.
“Especially when you are a sinker guy, you have to be able to have something to offset that so people just can’t sit on it,” Ventura said. “You have to be able to work both sides of the plate and that’s the way for him to do that. It doesn’t always take off for guys. Just because you try to teach a guy a cutter, it doesn’t mean he’s going to get it and be able to use it. To his credit he’s able to mix it in and it’s happened pretty quick for him.”
— The White Sox dropped to 0-12 on Saturdays this season with a 4-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins.
— Jose Abreu is on another hot streak. He's 16-for-48 with four home runs and 10 RBIs in the last 12 games.
— Asked about left fielder Alejandro De Aza’s misplay on Joe Mauer’s slicing, opposite-field double Saturday, Ventura said the elements might have played an issue. But he also acknowledged the play could have been made. Mauer gave the Twins the lead with the two-run double.
“Coming off a lefty’s bat, you have to be a really good outfielder to be able to make that play,” Ventura said. “I see (De Aza) making a good effort, it just started cutting away from him.”