Torres, Sox survive

The White Sox brought Dewon Day's No. 60 out of retirement for Carlos Torres, and the rookie didn't spoil the memory.

The White Sox brought Dewon Day’s No. 60 out of retirement for Carlos Torres, and the rookie didn’t spoil the memory.
It’s not every day that the Sox can pluck a guy out of Triple-A and get a quality start out of it.  It would’ve a truly laughable notion in the first half of this decade, for certain.
Even better is that Torres tossed a quality start while representing his true abilities rather accurately (except for the homers, allowing two in six innings after allowing just three all year in Charlotte).  He gave the Sox reasons to give him another chance, while not deluding anybody.
He wasn’t particularly efficient, which was often the case during his time in Triple-A.  He had reason to nibble — Pat Burrell and Gabe Gross crushed two of his mistakes, and they’re not top-tier major-league hitters — but he’s treading into dangerous territory by falling behind 15 of 27 hitters.  The Rays tried to take advantage of them, but Scott Podsednik happened to read the line drives right at him, whereas B.J. Upton let them get over his head.
Nevertheless, Torres showed toughness, and that’s really all you can hope for. It wouldn’t be awful for John Danks to miss another start — especially since it’s easy to retroactively place pitchers on the DL.  Torres deserves another look, even if he may not be as fortunate the second time around.
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Speaking of fortunate, I’m not exactly sure what Ozzie Guillen was doing in the ninth inning of Tuesday’s game.
OK, I’ll give him some credit: He didn’t use Bobby Jenks. He asserted his belief in the big man before the game, but didn’t carry his bravado into the late innings.  Jenks, who had thrown 48 pitches over the last two nights and allowed 15 baserunners over his last 5 1/3 innings (five games), never got up.
But I’m not sure why Matt Thornton pitched over Octavio Dotel in the ninth inning. Maybe Thornton showed that he had his good stuff in the eighth inning, but given the first two hitters were…

  • Dioner Navarro, a switch hitter who hits 100 points higher against lefties (.290 to .190).
  • Jason Bartlett, who owns a .361 average against southpaws this year.

…it sure seemed like suicide.
Thornton ended up getting the job done — not without drama, including a very predictable single by Navarro, who would eventually reach third.  And I’m not sure how I feel about it.
Glass half full: It’s nice to see Guillen going the unorthodox route.  He could’ve pulled Clayton Richard in the seventh on Tuesday when he was at 105 pitches, but let him start the eighth — and he finished it.  Using his best reliever for two big innings is another step in the direction of sticking with the effective guy when the book says otherwise.
Glass half empty: What’s up with Octavio Dotel?
Dotel has pitched just once since July 11. Over that stretch of time:

  • Jenks was scored upon in four of his five outings.
  • Aaron Poreda, who was sent down to make room for Torres and pitched far less often as a reliever, appeared in two games.
  • Scott Linebrink, who sucks in back-to-back games, pitched in three straight.

And yet… nothing.  It’s not like Dotel was lousy in his only appearance.  He struck out two in a scoreless inning on July 17, allowing just a single.
Guillen said Dotel didn’t appear in the ninth inning because he doesn’t hold runners well, but that only explains 10 percent of the situation.
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Incongruities:
*I mentioned this on Twitter, but Alexei Ramirez is on pace to draw 50 walks this season. He’s more than doubled his walk rate, and he’s seeing 3.68 pitches per plate appearance.
Carlos Quentin is seeing just 3.20 pitches per plate appearance this season — and that’s actually lower than Ramirez’s average last season.
Guess which one is called the free swinger this year?
*Aaron Poreda was reportedly in tears after getting word of his demotion.  Maybe he remembered how he broke the news on Facebook:

This is the biggest day of my life… I’m goin to Chicago, the big leagues, and I ain’t never goin back!!!!!

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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Fundman

Thank Goodness for Gameday on MLB.com or I would not have “seen” the last few innings of perfection on a business trip. Amazing………..