Paulino has struggled in four starts with the White Sox, with none worse than Friday's when he gave up 10 runs on 13 hits in 3 2/3 innings. The team says he has rotator cuff inflammation.
Paulino has struggled with injuries in recent years, but the White Sox still committed $1.75 million to him for this season. As a member of the Kansas City Royals in 2012, Paulino had Tommy John surgery at midseason, and last year he developed shoulder issues during his rehabilitation that required an arthroscopic procedure.
Rienzo is expected to slide into Paulino’s spot in the rotation starting next week at Detroit. The right-hander made 10 starts with the White Sox last season, going 2-3 with a 4.82 ERA. He struggled with his command at times last season and those issues appeared to continue this year at Charlotte, where he had a 4.83 ERA over his first three starts.
In other pitching news, left-hander Donnie Veal was outrighted to Charlotte. He was designated for assignment Thursday after posting a 7.50 ERA with the White Sox this season.
The move comes a day after right-hander Felipe Paulino was roughed up in the White Sox’s 12-0 defeat at Texas. Paulino, who has struggled in four big league starts this season, gave up 10 runs on 13 hits in just 3 2/3 innings against the Rangers and was up in the strike zone for most of his 103 pitches.
Hanson, who was signed to a minor-league contract by the White Sox on April 8, has spent each of the past five seasons in the major leagues. The 27-year old was with the Atlanta Braves for his first four seasons before pitching for the Los Angeles Angels last year.
Hanson went 11-4 with a 3.50 ERA for the Braves in his rookie season of 2009 and delivered a 3.31 ERA in 34 starts the following season. But his ERA has been on the rise ever since them with arm issues that have led to a reduction in velocity. With the Angels last year he was 4-3 with a 5.42 ERA in 15 outings (13 starts).
Since he was signed, Hanson has spent time at extended spring training in Arizona. His first start with Charlotte has not been determined. Scott Carroll, who has not allowed a run after three starts, is on the mound Saturday for the Knights in their game at Gwinnett.
Martin homered and was one of four Texas batters with three hits apiece. Robinson Chirinos also went deep.
Perez (3-0) retired his last 12 batters and struck out eight in his second complete game, including rookie Jose Abreu three times. Perez retired seven straight after Adam Eaton opened the game with a single and never allowed more than one baserunner in an inning.
Martin had a two-run triple and Chirinos hit a two-run homer on the next pitch in seven-run third inning off Felipe Paulino (0-2). Martin homered for a 10-0 lead in the fourth.
"I'm disappointed, but at least the doctor says it is nothing severe," said Scheppers, who is transitioning from a late-inning bullpen role to that of a starter.
Rangers manager Ron Washington said Nick Martinez is the most likely candidate to move into Scheppers' place in the rotation Tuesday at Oakland. Scheppers, the Rangers' Opening Day starter, has been plagued by the big inning. In four starts, he is 0-1 with a 9.82 ERA.
To fill Scheppers' roster spot, the Rangers purchased the contract of 27-year-old left-hander Aaron Poreda from Round Rock. Poreda was a first-round draft choice of the White Sox in 2007.
"The wake-up call today was one of the best I've ever gotten," the 6-foot-6, 240-pound Poreda said. "The biggest thing I needed to do when I didn't make the team coming out of spring was work on my durability. Coming off Tommy John surgery, I had to get ready to pitch on back-to-back days. I think I'm ready."
Boston RedSox: FireBrand of the AL
A large cup of coffee: Jeff Polman catches up with former Red Sox starting pitcher Dana Kiecker. Who’s Dana Kiecker, you ask? He’s just the pitcher who followed Roger Clemens in the 1990 ALCS by starting Game 2. Follow on Twitter: @jpballnut.
Chicago Cubs: View From The Bleachers
Which pitchers have nasty stuff? If you missed the 10-strikeout performance put up on Wednesday afternoon by Masahiro Tanaka, it showed off his nasty stuff. Joe Aiello takes a look at what other pitchers have "nasty" stuff. Follow on Twitter: @vftb
Chicago White Sox: The Catbird Seat
The art of patience: Collin Whitchurch examines the White Sox offense's hot start as a product of a new organizational emphasis on plate discipline. Follow on Twitter: @cowhitchurch
Colorado Rockies: Rockies Zingers
What are the keys for pitching at Coors? and ¿Cuáles son la claves para lanzar en Coors Field? The debut of Sabermetrics in Spanish, Juan Pablo Zubillaga compares Rockies pitchers with non-Rockies pitchers and analyzes which metrics can indicate success for Rockies pitchers.
Milwaukee Brewers: Disciples of Uecker
The Brewers' line-driving frenzy: Jonathan Judge looks at the value and sustainability of the Brewers' high line-drive rate so far. Follow on Twitter: @bachlaw
New York Yankees: It's About The Money
How good could the 2015 infield really be? Matt Seybold wonders how the Yankees will go about filling the holes they will have in the 2015 infield. Follow on Twitter: @Sport_Hippeaux
How did the "pine tar" affect Pineda's performance? Michael Eder takes a look at what affects, if any, that mysterious blob of goo on Michael Pineda's hand had during his start against Boston. Follow on Twitter: @edermik
Philadelphia Phillies: Crashburn Alley
Phillies showing tremendous plate discipline: The Phillies are drawing plenty of walks, something they haven't done in a few years.
Some fun trivia on Cliff Lee's start against the Braves: Cliff Lee got the tough-luck loss on Wednesday but it made for some interesting trivia. Follow on Twitter: @CrashburnAlley
Tampa Bay Rays: The Process Report
Offense, Myers struggling: Jason Collette shows how 2014 looks a lot like 2011 in the early going for the Tampa Bay offense and why Wil Myers is struggling at the plate. Follow on Twitter: @processreport
Jason Rosenberg is the founder of It's About the Money, a proud charter member of the SweetSpot Network. IIATMS can be found on Twitter here and here as well as on Facebook.
* The White Sox weren't anybody's pick to contend in the AL Central. And while it's early, the team is playing well, hanging in with the Detroit Tigers near the top of the division. The biggest reason: offense. Chicago has led the AL in runs scored for most of the season and has been in the top three in batting average and OPS. The result is a competitive team playing well right now. The Rangers have lost four consecutive series to the White Sox, dropping nine of 12 games in that span.
* Credit Jose Abreu and Alexei Ramirez for helping that White Sox offense. Ramirez leads the AL with a .390 batting average and Abreu and Ramirez both have four home runs.
* Martin Perez has quietly put up solid numbers to start the 2014 season, going 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA in 20 innings (three starts). But there is one area he wants to improve: walks. Perez has walked three batters in each of his last two starts, something he needs to cut down on as the season progresses. His lone start against the White Sox came in August of last year. He gave up four runs and eight hits in seven innings.
* Walkoffs. The Rangers have already had four of them at home. This team has shown resiliency and a flair for the dramatic. Don't be shocked if they've got one more in them before they head on the road to Oakland and Seattle.
* Colby Lewis should be over any jitters from making his first start in two years and is now just a normal member of the rotation. His next turn comes Saturday against left-handed pitcher Jose Quintana. Lewis gave up four runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings and admitted that while he was glad to get out there and see his velocity tick up a bit more than where he was in 2012, he expects to go deeper into games.
* Batting with runners in scoring position has been an issue for the Rangers during the last week. They came into Thursday's game 7-for-57 (.123) in their last seven games. They were hitting .352 (tops in the AL) with RISP before this seven-game stretch and are now just .250, still good for fifth in the AL.
* Prince Fielder has a .293 batting average in 40 games against the White Sox. He has hit a home run on this homestand but still hasn't really put together solid back-to-back games. We'll see if the weekend gets him going.
A better bullpen performance either Wednesday or Thursday against the Red Sox would have given the White Sox their third consecutive series victory at home, but instead they lost a 6-4 heartbreaker in 14 innings in the second game of the series and dropped a 3-1 decision in a pitchers' duel that marked the homestand's finale.
The White Sox's primary agenda this weekend would seem to be Jose Abreu and getting him out of his current doldrums. Manager Robin Ventura gave Abreu a breather Thursday by having on the bench to start the game against the Red Sox, but did give him a pinch-hit chance late.
After grounding out to end Thursday's game, Abreu now has just one hit in his last 22 at-bats (26 plate appearances).
Talking about it Thursday, Ventura says there is a mental aspect to the downturn as Abreu is coming to grips with the attention he received from his hot start and the realization that he must produce as the leader of the offense. But there is also the challenge of learning a new league where Abreu has admitted that the pitching is far superior.
While much improved at home, the 8-8 White Sox had their issues on their first road trip of the season at Kansas City and Colorado. They were just 2-4 on their maiden voyage and now head to Texas where the Rangers are a solid 7-3 at home.
At least there will be one less factor working against the White Sox this weekend as Arlington, Texas, is expected to have high temperatures in the 70s on Friday and Saturday, and over 80 degrees for Sunday's day game.
After their home stumble this week, the White Sox would like to build some momentum in Texas before heading to Detroit next week and showing the rival Tigers their new look.
HEAD TO HEAD
The Rangers' Prince Fielder is 4-for-8 lifetime against Felipe Paulino with two home runs, five RBIs and five walks. ... The Rangers' Shin-Soo Choo has two hits against Jose Quintana in five career at-bats, and both hits are doubles. ... Alexei Ramirez is 4-for-13 (.308) lifetime against Colby Lewis, but he has struck out five times. ... Players on the current White Sox roster have combined to go 2-for-14 against Rangers left-hander Robbie Ross, with no RBIs and no extra-base hits.
The White Sox will run into a pair of old friends in Texas in reliever Neal Cotts and outfielder Alex Rios. In a three-game series against the White Sox, shortly after his trade last year to the Rangers, Rios went 3-for-13 with a home run off Hector Santiago. ... Adam Dunn has 13 career home runs against the Rangers in 100 career at-bats, the most home runs vs. any opponent he's had 150 at-bats or less against. He has also reached base in 13 consecutive games this season. ... Dayan Viciedo has just three career hits at the Rangers' home ballpark and is a .136 hitter there in 22 at-bats. By contrast, Alexei Ramirez is a career .308 hitter there (28-for-96). ... Ramirez has a hit in all 16 games, the longest hit streak to start a season in White Sox history. ... Tyler Flowers has a hit in nine of his 13 games and has four multi-hit games this season after getting nine all of last season.
Friday: White Sox RH Felipe Paulino (0-1, 7.98 ERA) vs. Rangers LH Martin Perez (2-0, 2.70), 7:05 CT.
Saturday: White Sox LF Jose Quintana (1-0, 2.37). vs. Rangers RH Colby Lewis (0-1, 5.60), 7:05 CT.
Sunday: White Sox RH Erik Johnson (0-1, 6.35) vs. Rangers LH Robbie Ross (1-0, 1.00), 2:05 p.m. CT.
CHICAGO -- Feeling too modest about his skinny frame to do a postgame interview without his shirt on, Chris Sale’s shoulders are still broad enough to make him the foundation of the Chicago White Sox’s roster rebuild.
He had just shown why he is considered one of the best in the business Thursday with a one-hit gem over seven innings, soiled only by a high pitch count and that Boston Red Sox starter Jon Lester was going toe-to-toe with him from the opposite side.
Lester eventually won the war of attrition and the Red Sox went on to a 3-1 victory by taking advantage of the White Sox's beleaguered bullpen.
Chris Sale tossed career-high 127 pitches in his duel with the Red Sox's Jon Lester. "It's hard to take him out of that when he's battled a pitcher like that," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura. "Guys like him like to be in that game."
There, among the wood-paneled walls and thick padded seats, was the team’s brain trust that watched Sale approach 100 pitches after six innings ... then 110 ... then 120 ... and ultimately a career-high 127 by the time he finished seven innings, allowing just a run on one hit in the process.
It was a combination of tapping into Sale’s competitive nature as long as possible and avoiding a bullpen that has essentially been gasoline on some smoldering early-season fires.
But it also was a gigantic workload on an April evening that seemed riskier than it was worth in the big picture.
“Yeah, you know 115, 120 [pitches], you know he can do that,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “Do you want to do it every night? No. But in a game like tonight, it’s hard to take him out of that when he’s battled a pitcher like that. Guys like him like to be in that game.”
Sale is more a task-at-hand guy, so his goal is to always finish what he started. He had zero qualms about the rising pitch total but also realized he had never climbed this high on the mountain.
“That’s what I’m supposed to do, especially after a night like last night,” Sale said, referring to the 14-inning outing Wednesday when the bullpen was taxed. “We had the house throwing multiple innings. You got to pick up some slack right there and do what you can.”
Sale turned 25 recently, so youth is certainly on his side. But the first answers as to how Thursday’s start might have affected him will come Tuesday at the Detroit Tigers when he next takes the mound. It isn’t out of the question that the effects linger on much longer.
But it doesn’t have to be so black-and-white, either, in which 100 pitches means an automatic end to your night. The coaching staff showed their trust, and that has value, as well.
“I felt that was a good move and a lot of respect from the staff to leave him in there,” White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers said. “He battled his butt off all game and we weren’t able to get too many runs for him. Kind of leave the game in his hands, and he did a great job.”
Flowers admitted, though, that Sale was at the end of his rope. He was mixing in more changeups late in the outing to preserve his pitching energy, but Sale ramped it up one last time for a strikeout of Ryan Roberts to end his night.
Asked about what seemed to be stall tactics in order to help him along in his last inning of work, Sale promised it was nothing to be alarmed about.
“I think it was more just trying to focus," he said. "I think it’s no secret that my emotions were running a little high. Just trying to dial it back a little bit and try to make my pitch. Getting that late in the game, that high pitch count, adrenaline kicks in and gets you through that. It wasn’t anything of getting tired or anything like that. It was just trying to compose myself and protect the pitches that I had.”
The White Sox might have fallen short, but Sale enjoyed the battle.
“That atmosphere tonight, it was great,” he said. “Obviously knowing who you got across the way, runs are going to be scarce. Going out there and giving everything you got, a team rolls in like this, you can’t really have any consternation with that. You can’t shy away from that.”
CHICAGO -- Jon Lester pitched eight sharp innings and David Ross hit a tiebreaking RBI double in Boston's two-run ninth, leading the Red Sox to a 3-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Thursday night.
Lester (2-2) allowed one run and seven hits for his second straight win after opening the season with two losses. The left-hander struck out nine and walked none, winning an impressive pitcher's duel with White Sox ace Chris Sale.
CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox fell 3-1 to the Boston Red Sox on Thursday, losing a home series for the first time this season.
How it happened: The White Sox’s Chris Sale and the Red Sox’s Jon Lester were locked in a pitchers’ duel. Sale lost his no-hitter in the seventh inning on a home run by Xander Bogaerts. Lester lost his perfect game on a Tyler Flowers single in the seventh and his shutout on a run-scoring infield single from Adam Eaton. Boston’s David Ross had the go-ahead RBI double in a two-run ninth inning. Ronald Belisario took the loss, the bullpen's major league leading sixth defeat this season. Alexei Ramirez had a ninth-inning single to give him a franchise-record 16-game hit streak to start the season. He shared the mark at 15 with Frank Thomas.
What it means: Sale threw a career-high 127 pitches, an alarmingly large number considering he is the foundation on which the organization is trying to rebuild itself. What that total indicates, more than anything, is that there is little trust in the scuffling bullpen that entered with an AL-leading 38 walks and a league-worst 6.38 ERA.
Outside the box: Sale struck out 10 batters, the 11th time in his young career he has reached double digits in that department. It tied him with Billy Pierce for the fifth-most double-digit strikeout games in White Sox history. Sale reached his mark in 63 starts, while Pierce needed 390 starts to do it.
Off beat: Faced with few options out of the bullpen Thursday because of heavy work in Wednesday’s 14-inning game, Belisario had an extended outing that ultimately got away from him. The right-hander threw 32 pitches in his 1⅓ innings of work and added two more walks to give the bullpen a whopping 41 already this season.
Up next: The White Sox will send right-hander Felipe Paulino (0-1, 7.98 ERA) to the mound Friday against the Texas Rangers in the opener of a three-game series. Texas will counter with left-hander Martin Perez (2-0, 2.70) in the 7:05 p.m. start from Globe Life Park.
After Wednesday's 14-inning, 5-hour 17-minute affair against the Boston Red Sox, manager Robin Ventura didn't require his players to arrive until 5 p.m. Fresh from the airport, Putnam practically had the place to himself for a little while.
The marathon game Wednesday was the reason bullpen help was needed. Daniel Webb threw 59 pitches Wednesday and was not available Thursday. Donnie Veal, who has struggled with his control so far, is now out of the picture after being designated for assignment.
Putnam, who got the call in the middle of the night that he would be heading to Chicago, is prepared to play quickly.
"I'm ready to go," said Putnam, who last pitched for Triple-A Charlotte on Tuesday. "Nobody has said anything, but I'm ready to go and for as many [innings] as they need. I know they're taxed, so I'm going to try to give them whatever I can."
Having been called up for short stints with three different teams over the past three years, Putnam knows what to expect. But he remains relatively inexperienced with only 15 major league appearances and 12T innings to his credit.
In 2011, he pitched in eight games with the Cleveland Indians, a year later it was two games with the Colorado Rockies and last year he made five appearances with the Chicago Cubs.
In a White Sox bullpen struggling with control (38 walks to lead the American League), Putnam knows that this major-league stint can be longer if he can find the stroke zone.
"As a pitcher, it doesn't matter what your role is, trying to throw strikes, get ahead in the count is Step 1 to success, so that's going to be what I'll try to do tonight, or when I get in there," he said.
The bullpen appeared to take a turn for the better with a solid showing in a victory Tuesday, but neither Ronald Belisario nor Matt Lindstrom pitched that night. Every reliever pitched Wednesday, including utility man Leury Garcia, and the bullpen had 11 walks (nine not counting Garcia's numbers).
"After [Tuesday] night, you thought it was getting back on track," Ventura said. "If you judged it on last night you wouldn't be happy about it. I wouldn't see it like that every night. They're going to grind. You look at the guys who are out there and eventually they will get the job done."
Paul Konerko had been expected to get a start in Thursday’s homestand finale against the Boston Red Sox, but, instead of taking the place of Adam Dunn in the DH spot, Konerko will get to play first base for the first time this season in place of Abreu.
It will be just the second start for Konerko, who was the DH at the Kansas City Royals last week.
Abreu is mired in a 1-for-21 slump as he struggles to hit major league breaking pitches. After a hot start, during which Abreu hit four home runs, batted .300 and carried a .725 slugging percentage through 10 games, pitchers have started to expose weaknesses.
"You might be tired. You’re seeing new [pitchers], and they might be getting a report. But you go back in the cage, work on it," Ventura said. "The hardest part of all this is that baseball is relentless. It's every day of being able to gear back up and, when you’re not feeling quite right, to be able to go out and perform.
"He’s got certain pressures on him that probably other guys don’t have, so today’s a good day to just give him a day."
The White Sox open a three-game series at the Texas Rangers on Friday, and, while the pitching won’t relent, perhaps Abreu will benefit from a warmer climate.
Abreu’s batting average is down to .217, while his on-base percentage is at .324. He still has a .500 slugging percentage, tops among American League every-day first basemen.
"He has a lot going on and has been adjusting to different things," Ventura said. "This is the right time to give him a day as we go out on the road. You give him the day and a breather and let him get back at it."
Konerko is also learning to adjust as he comes off the bench now. Six of his nine at-bats came as a pinch hitter, and the only hit he has collected all season came on the first pitch he saw.
"In almost every game we've had, I've been on the verge of hitting, on the verge of getting in the game," Konerko said. "So you're prepared from about the fifth inning on. I'd say the first three or four innings feel like a normal off day, but from about the fifth inning through the rest of the game, you're paying attention to everything. Every guy that gets up in the bullpen, every pitch that's thrown, every score, you're really paying attention.
"My switch is never really off. Physically, yeah, sure, there's always something there, but you just do the work, prepare and you try to be ready. It's different, but there are people that are good at it and accomplish it, so you have to think that it's possible."
CHICAGO -- After sitting out one game with a dislocated ring finger on his left hand, Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli is back in the starting lineup, batting cleanup against White Sox ace Chris Sale.
The Red Sox can use Napoli's bat. They're hitting a collective .173 (36 for 208) while losing four of the first six games on this trip and have scored just 18 runs. Six of those runs came Wednesday night, when White Sox pitchers walked 15 batters but stranded 16 runners on base before Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a two-run double off a position player, utilityman Leury Garcia, in the 14th to give the Red Sox a 6-4 win.
This will be the first time the Red Sox will be facing Sale, a two-time All-Star as a starter. The last time he pitched against them was in relief in 2011, and the Red Sox collectively have just three hits in 25 at-bats against him. No Red Sox player has more than one hit off him, and Jonny Gomes has the only home run. Napoli is 1-for-6 against him in his career. Sale has never faced Bradley, Dustin Pedroia, David Ross or Xander Bogaerts.
Putnam, 26, has 15 games of major league experience, most recently the five games he pitched in relief for the Chicago Cubs last season. In six relief innings at Charlotte this season he had 11 strikeouts.
Veal made seven relief appearances for the White Sox this season, posting a 7.50 ERA. He walked seven batters in just six innings.
The White Sox will need to pick up innings for right-hander Daniel Webb, who could be down for as many as two games after throwing 59 pitches over three innings in Wednesday's defeat to the Boston Red Sox.
Jose Abreu is 1-for-21 since his home run against the Indians a week ago.
It was not unexpected that he would have struggles as he transitions to a new league, it’s just that his hot start and disciplined approach at the plate seemed to get everybody used to the idea that he would be able to handle himself just fine in the majors.
Wednesday’s 0-for-6 performance, though, means that Abreu is 1-for-21 since hitting a home run in the fifth inning of Thursday’s game against the Cleveland Indians. That homer was Abreu’s second of the game.
Looking back, there were warning signs that he wasn’t quite right at the plate. The night after his two-homer game he struck out twice against the Indians and three more times the following night.