Leesman has chance to impress out of bullpen
BOSTON -- All 17 of Charlie Leesman's 2013 appearances have come as a starter.
Of the 128 career trips to the mound made by the southpaw, with 127 on the Minor League level and one start for the White Sox on Aug. 9 of this season, all but two have been part of his team's respective rotation. But with Leesman's callup from Triple-A Charlotte prior to Sunday's game, his role is about to change.
Leesman, 26, will be working in relief for the White Sox with a chance to figure into the 2014 big league bullpen plan. Manager Robin Ventura said Sunday morning that Leesman probably would get a start in September, but Leesman seems ready for the role change.
"Whatever the position is, I'm more than happy to go after it that way," Leesman said. "In terms of relieving, I think the last time I did it was in [winter ball in] Puerto Rico in 2011, I had like 12 innings and the year before it was the [Arizona] Fall League.
"I'm going back to the Fall League to try to do that again. I wasn't really expecting that when they told me, but if it can help me make the team next year out of camp, then it's awesome."
Extra work given to Leesman, including an upcoming stint in the AFL, helps make up for lost innings because of surgery on his left knee. Leesman could have gone elsewhere when he was designated for assignment by the White Sox on April 14 to make room for Tyler Greene and eventually claimed by the Rangers, but he decided to stay with the organization that knew him and knew his ongoing rehab that began late last September.
Although his locker placard at Fenway Park Sunday mistakenly read "Jose Leesman," the White Sox certainly know who he is and realize what he can contribute.
"I've been with the White Sox since I've been drafted, and regardless of the DFA, I trust them that they're going to take care of me," Leesman said. "They know how hard I work. Between me and my agent, we decided it was the best opportunity and best chance to stay with the team and the organization that knows me best and I know them. I think we made a great decision."