Taylor Thompson makes White Sox debut out of bullpen
BY TONI GINNETTI For Sun-Times Media July 20, 2014 8:52PM
Updated: July 20, 2014 9:33PM
Right-hander Taylor Thompson is the latest ‘‘hot hand’’ to join the White Sox, coming from Class AAA Charlotte to help bolster the bullpen.
‘‘We knew we were getting a little short [in the bullpen],’’ manager Robin Ventura said. ‘‘[Thompson] throws a lot of strikes.’’
He replaces infielder Carlos Sanchez on the roster.
‘‘You’re kind of going with guys now who are throwing their best,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘You’re going with the hot hand.’’
Thompson threw 12/3 scoreless innings in his debut Sunday, giving up one hit and striking out two.
Thompson, 27, was 2-0 with a 2.61 ERA at Charlotte with six saves and 53 strikeouts in 31 relief appearances. He was limiting right-handed hitters to a .185 average and lefties to .244.
‘‘I had a good year in Birmingham last year and got called up to Charlotte and started off kind of rough,’’ Thompson said. ‘‘And then I came up this year, and I didn’t really start where I wanted to start. But I found my groove a little bit, and everything started panning out.’’
To make room for Thompson on the 40-man roster, the Sox transferred injured pitcher Felipe Paulino to the 60-day disabled list.
Zach Putnam, who got his second consecutive save Saturday, and Jake Petricka, who has eight holds, will be getting most of the closer calls.
‘‘I would say those two guys would probably be the two who will do the majority of [pitching] in the ninth,’’ Ventura said.
Petricka started the ninth Saturday but Ventura called in Putnam to get the last out after two Astros reached base.
‘‘If Jake hadn’t gotten into a little bit of trouble, he would have finished it off,’’ Ventura said.
Meanwhile, rehabbing reliever Matt Lindstrom (left ankle surgery) will throw a bullpen session again Monday, then throw batting practice to rehabbing outfielder Avisail Garcia in Minnesota, when the Sox play the Twins later this week.
Lindstrom could begin a minor-league rehab assignment afterward.
‘‘It’s been a long time,’’ said Lindstrom, who had surgery in late May. ‘‘It seems like I have been away longer than two months. I just want to play, so that’s the main thing.’’
Frank Thomas’ induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame will take place Sunday, and a large Sox contingent will be there for his induction.
‘‘You see his career and the numbers that go with it, but the fact that most of it was done in a White Sox uniform is special,’’ said Ventura, who played beside Thomas for 10 seasons. ‘‘There aren’t many [Sox] that are in [the Hall].
‘‘For him to do it and have that productivity over that period of time, win MVPs and things like that — he was a dominant player in his era. That will stand the test of time as far as his place with the White Sox.’’
Not feeling well
Pitching coach Don Cooper was ill. Bullpen coach Bobby Thigpen took over his duties for the day.
Astros first baseman Jesus Guzman was scratched at game time because of back discomfort.