White Sox call up Putnam, designate Veal
CHICAGO -- After the White Sox used seven relievers and one position player on the mound in Wednesday's 14-inning loss the Red Sox, it was time to call in reinforcements. The White Sox purchased the contract of Zach Putnam from Triple-A Charlotte and designated left-hander Donnie Veal for assignment Thursday afternoon.
"You need a fresh arm," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "Puts' been throwing great. You need a fresh body to keep going."
Putnam, a 6-foot-2, 225-pound right-hander, is 1-0 for Charlotte this season. The 26-year old has pitched six scoreless innings and struck out 11. Veal appeared in seven games for the White Sox this season and allowed five runs in six innings of work.
"Yeah, this is surreal," said Putnam, who has a career 3.79 ERA and 3.00 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 321 Minor League innings. "It's one of those things you never expect it to happen, and when it does happen, you just kind of go with it and enjoy the process. Happy to be here, do whatever I can to help."
With Veal gone, the Sox have just one left-handed reliever in the bullpen, Scott Downs.
"You would like to have two, but at this point, Puts does pretty good," Ventura said. "He's got a nice split that he can equalize that as far as going after lefties, and most of the guys have been pretty decent going after lefties."
The White Sox bullpen has the worst ERA (6.38) and WHIP (1.77) in MLB entering Thursday, with 38 walks in 48 innings. White Sox relievers, minus utility infielder Leury Garcia, issued nine walks over a seven-inning stretch in Wednesday night's loss against the Red Sox. That performance came on the heels of Tuesday's 2-1 win, in which four relievers combined to hold Boston hitless over the final 2 1/3 innings.
"After the other 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. I don't think anybody sees that kind of performance and just base it on that. They're going to grind. You look at the guys who are out there and eventually they will get the job done."
Some have questioned Ventura's overall handling of the bullpen Wednesday. He used four relievers to get through the eighth inning alone, leaving only closer Matt Lindstrom and Daniel Webb in reserve. Ventura had said before the game Lindstrom was his closer and that he preferred to give him a full inning, yet Lindstrom came in only after Maikel Cleto walked the first two to start the ninth.
"When things don't happen, you can get criticized for just moves," Ventura said. "But going through the game and looking at it, I would have done the same thing."