Weather Updates

Leaky pen shows no one’s trade-safe

Outfielder Casper Wells pitches ninth against Indians first game Friday’s doubleheader U.S. Cellular Field. | David Banks~Getty Images

Outfielder Casper Wells pitches the ninth against the Indians in the first game of Friday’s doubleheader at U.S. Cellular Field. | David Banks~Getty Images

storyidforme: 51437714
tmspicid: 19129001
fileheaderid: 8656868

Updated: June 29, 2013 1:24AM

What happens to the White Sox in the coming weeks will be decided in the front office more than on the field.

With the Sox stuck at the bottom of the American League Central as the season’s mid-point nears, general manager Rick Hahn will weigh the coming calls seeking pitching in general and relief pitching in particular.

Relievers aren’t as valuable as starters, which means less coming in return for a Jesse Crain or a Matt Thornton. But each loss lends to the talk that there will be few untouchables on a Sox team in need of a revamp.

The bullpen has been a plus for the Sox — though that wasn’t apparent Friday in the first game of a makeup doubleheader with division rival Cleveland. Brian Omogrosso (0-2) and Ramon Troncoso gave up 14 runs (13 earned) in five innings after starter Hector Santiago couldn’t hold a five-run first inning lead.

‘‘You scratch your head,’’ manager Robin Ventura said after his team matched its season high in runs and still lost 19-10 in a four-hour game.

In Game 2, Addison Reed gave up four runs in the ninth, including a tiebreaking, solo homer to Nick Swisher, in the Sox’ 9-8 loss.

‘‘You don’t see that coming as far as Hector going out there and not getting through four,’’ Ventura said of Santiago, who didn’t get out of the third. ‘‘It’s unusual. Just one of those days.’’

It’s becoming one of those years for the Sox.

‘‘You get a five-run lead, you just want to go out and keep throwing strikes,’’ Santiago said. ‘‘I felt like I threw enough strikes and I didn’t walk anyone — and I gave up five runs.’’

Ventura sent position player Casper Wells to throw the ninth and he didn’t allow a hit. But the smiles about Wells didn’t displace Ventura’s frustration with a base-running lapse by Dayan Viciedo in the eighth. Viciedo ran past a stop sign at third and then gave up as the throw came in to tag him out.

‘‘It bothers everybody,’’ said Ventura, who benched Viciedo after the play and kept him out of the lineup for Game 2.

Trade talk will be bothersome, too, as it escalates.

‘‘People are available if the right trade is there,’’ Ventura admitted. ‘‘Even being a player, you are a pro and you do whatever you have to do. If your name comes up, it is a distraction to a degree, if you are a player specifically targeted.’’

Said Santiago: ‘‘You try not to think about it. You hear stuff and hear trades and this guy is moving here. But you try not to worry about it. You go out and play ball and hopefully the next game is a little better than what happened here in this game.’’

The Indians matched their season high in runs in Game 1 despite rookie starter Trevor Bauer being unable to get out of the first.

The 19 runs were the most allowed by the Sox since May 21, 2009, when the Minnesota Twins scored 20.

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.