CHICAGO -- Left-hander Aaron Bummer was getting food prior to Triple-A Charlotte's contest on Wednesday night when his life instantly changed."Charlotte pitching coach] Steve McCatty came over and grabbed me, took me out of the food line and into our manager's office," said Bummer from his locker at Guaranteed Rate
CHICAGO -- Left-hander Aaron Bummer was getting food prior to Triple-A Charlotte's contest on Wednesday night when his life instantly changed.
"[Charlotte pitching coach] Steve McCatty came over and grabbed me, took me out of the food line and into our manager's office," said Bummer from his locker at Guaranteed Rate Field prior to the White Sox 6-3 loss to the Cubs on Thursday. "He told me what was happening, and I just sat there with a dumbfounded smile on my face, not really knowing what to expect, just spitting out gibberish.
"It's a moment I'll never forget. I thank the White Sox and everybody for this opportunity."
Bummer, 23, replaced Dan Jennings on the roster after Jennings was traded to the Rays for Minor Leaguer Casey Gillaspie. Bummer has pitched at Class A Winston-Salem, Double-A Birmingham and Charlotte this season, only two years after Tommy John surgery (April 7, 2015) cost him that whole season.
There wasn't much of a wait between Bummer's arrival and his Major League debut, as Bummer entered in the eighth to face the defending World Series champions. He experienced the highs of baseball by striking out the first batter he faced, Anthony Rizzo, and the disappointments, thanks to Kyle Schwarber's two-out home run.
"Legs were shaking a little bit. Couldn't really feel the arm," said a smiling Bummer, who got the balls from his first pitch and his first strikeout. "Emotions were going crazy. Heartbeat was racing. But at the end of the day, it was a baseball game, and it was a good experience."
"He had a smile on his face, and I was kind of joking with Rizzo, like, 'Hey, go easy on this guy, it's his first one,'" catcher Kevan Smith said. "He got strike one on him. He has a really good slider, and Rizzo had a tough time with it."
In an interesting twist to the circumstances surrounding Bummer's arrival, Jennings, who played at Nebraska, mentored Bummer, another Cornhusker, during Bummer's first big league Spring Training this year. Bummer and Jennings communicated via text on Thursday, though Bummer chose to keep the details of the conversation private.
Over 87 2/3 career Minor League innings, Bummer has 100 strikeouts and 33 walks. After his debut, he was able to talk about and celebrate the moment with his parents, brother, girlfriend and a few family friends in attendance.
"As the day went on, the nerves kind of calmed down, and it was kind of nice getting thrown into the fire and facing the guys that I did," Bummer said. "The outcome of the game wasn't what we wanted, but it was a once-in-a-lifetime dream for me."
Quintana gives thanks
The White Sox paid tribute to Jose Quintana via video after the first inning on Wednesday. Players joined the fans in giving the popular former ace a standing ovation.
Quintana was traded to the Cubs prior to the start of the season's second half in a five-player deal that brought Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease to the White Sox.
"It was exciting. I almost cried," Quintana said on Thursday. "It was a surprise for me, and I appreciate the organization giving me that. It was a good time for me, and [I thank the] fans. I appreciate everything they did for me."
• Willy Garcia was recalled from Charlotte to take the place of Avisail Garcia, who is on the 10-day disabled list with a strained ligament in his right thumb.
• Zack Burdi underwent successful Tommy John surgery in Florida on Thursday. The procedure was performed by Dr. James Andrews. Burdi was selected by the White Sox in the first round (26th overall) of the 2016 Draft and is the team's No. 15 prospect.
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.