Reading Room: Call-ups, and lack thereof

The White Sox felt tired, frustrated, disappointed, and exhausted after their chaotic three-game series in Kansas City, but Joe Cowley adds a strange word to the list.

According to one source, after the game was called Friday night and a doubleheader was scheduled for 6:10 p.m. Saturday, the Sox staff was scrambling for pitching help.
”I thought for sure someone was going to come through that door,” one player commented.
No one did.
Not another arm, and not the general manager. Ken Williams again was absent from the trip.

Cowley is polarizing in his style, especially when he writes these column/article hybrids that leave a lot in between the lines. They are rewarding to the loyal reader, though. I was anticipating this one ever since this exchange:

Wow. Just saw the sox gm coming out of a comedy club in Shaumburg with a female friend. I guess he didn’t c the sox first lossless than a minute ago via txt

Oney the Giant Killer is at it again – right between the eyes.less than a minute ago via API

It’ll be interesting to see if there’s any fallout. The thing about the extra pitcher is that there aren’t many readily available candidates for a quick demotion. Brent Lillibridge is the most obvious one, and he ended up starting a game. Either way, I think this is more about underlying tension than personnel decisions, and sometimes these things have legs.
Really, I’m more upset that Williams thinks Carlos Mencia is funny. He’s no “Growing Pains,” that’s for sure.
*Speaking of personnel decisions, Ozzie Guillen said he wanted “a catcher, for sure, and maybe a couple more arms in the bullpen.”
Guillen has two catchers to choose from on the 40-man roster, and I don’t know if there’s an obvious favorite. Tyler Flowers should be there in terms of long-term plans, but I’m pretty sure Guillen has more faith in Donny Lucy. It doesn’t really matter in terms of usage, as neither figures to start if the Sox stay in contention through September, but it will make a statement of some sort. Flowers could use the vote of confidence.
*As far as a bullpen arm is concerned, I think we might see more Lucas Harrell. From a Baseball America article (warning: paywall):

“This guy is kind of a goofy guy, the right way,” Guillen said. “Very fresh. I like that. Very, very confident. A lot of people say he’s cocky, arrogant. I think he’s a confident kid. He showed people he’s not afraid. Now I know we have someone down in the minor leagues who can help us just in case something happened.”

Of course, I remember a guy whom Guillen described as “confident,” not “cocky” or “arrogant,” and Guillen ended up not liking him that much after five months or so.
*In the current bullpen, the Sox received some good news regarding J.J. Putz and Matt Thornton, who shared a bromantic MRI machine for two:

Tests on Thornton’s pitching forearm showed “no structural damage,” according to comments made by general manager Ken Williams during Monday evening’s inaugural White Sox Charity Bowling Classic at Lucky Strike in downtown Chicago.
“He should be fine in a couple of days,” Williams said before taking to the lanes, adding the All-Star did have a little bit of fluid in the talked-about area. “Hopefully, we can get that squared away and get him back on track.” […] Monday’s MRI on Putz showed no greater damage than the soreness. Putz features a 2.68 ERA over 47 innings, but he has blown his past three save opportunities, including the nightcap of Saturday’s doubleheader.

I’m more concerned about Thornton than Putz, if only because Thornton has a pretty good history of self-reporting injuries (to Rob Dibble’s chagrin), and he sounded a little more concerned than I’d like.
*Tony Pena, who is healthy, impressed his boss:

But Guillen said watching reliever Tony Pena go seven innings Saturday night in a spot start was ”the highlight of my year.” […] ”Every inning, I asked, ‘How do you feel?’ and he wanted to keep going,” Guillen said. ”He saved maybe a week of baseball for the White Sox, from the standpoint of the pitching staff. A week. That’s a lot. I was pretty impressed.”

*Scott Merkin revisits the comparisons to the 1983 White Sox, and finds that the 2010 version is lagging.
*Oral Sox has a new podcast up, with Larry from South Side Sox as a special guest.
*J.J. examines how John Danks and Gavin Floyd stack up against other 1-2 punches in the league, and finally…
*White Sox Cards gives me a reason to bring up Johnny Dickshot for the second time this month.
*ADDED* Ron Shelton’s “30 for 30” documentary on Michael Jordan’s year in Birmingham debuts on ESPN tonight at 7 p.m. CST (thanks, John).

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You gotta feel sorry for a guy who’s nickname was “Ugly” Dickshot.


What, they didn’t let you take any candids with your senior photo?


Regarding bring up another pitcher in KC after the rainout: I am surprised that the Sox did not do this, knowing that Putz was ouchy and Thorton unavailable. Then again, when you disregard player development, maybe there wasn’t anybody worthwhile to consider anyway.
Regarding players feeling abandoned: This goes for both players and managers…when you are arm-chair GMs and tell the boss not to change the roster at the trade deadline, don’t complain later when certain player moves aren’t made.
Regarding Tony Pena: Maybe he is one of these ‘adrenaline’ guys who needs more work in ‘high leverage’ situations?
Regarding ‘Bromantic MRI for Two’ reference…Funny!


Don’t know much about his stuff as a starter but looking at his stats in outings of 3 or more innings (9), most look good. Maybe he would be better as a starter.


I’m glad I could help. 🙂
For someone with an era named after him, it’s hard to track down pictures of Johnny Dickshot.