07/22/09 1:20 AM ET
Torres to start in place of Danks
Right-hander will make Major League debut Wednesday
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
Let's just say Pierzynski will be learning about the right-hander right along with White Sox fans when Torres makes his Major League debut on Wednesday night.
"He's having a good year at Charlotte," said Pierzynski with a smile when asked Tuesday about Torres. "I heard he pitched at the Triple-A All-Star Game, which is a good thing.
"Other than that, we'll find out tomorrow."
Torres, 26, officially will be called up from Triple-A Charlotte prior to the third game of this four-game series with the defending American League champion Rays. He temporarily replaces John Danks in the starting rotation, with Danks sidelined by a blister and circulation issues at the tip of his left index finger.
According to White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, the blister problem began to plague Danks in his start against the Twins before the All-Star break, when Danks walked the first four hitters he faced. It's a painful situation the White Sox don't expect to cost Danks more than just this one start.
Danks, who has an 8-6 record with a 3.98 ERA in 18 starts this season, was unavailable for comment on Tuesday, as he was receiving treatment on the finger. Pitching coach Don Cooper simply is planning one start at a time.
"Right now, what we have to deal with is John won't make [Wednesday's] start," Cooper said. "We will know more where he's at in the next day.
"We will deal with what comes after that, but it really doesn't affect anybody else. We don't know enough about what's going on with Danks, but we'll have better direction tomorrow."
Aside from Danks being down and out, the rest of the rotation remains the same. Mark Buehrle will finish the series Thursday against Tampa Bay, and Jose Contreras and Bartolo Colon appear to be Friday's starters for the split doubleheader at Comerica Park against the Tigers. Gavin Floyd will get the call on Saturday.
Sunday's starter looks to be an unofficial "to be announced." Clayton Richard's eight stellar innings on Tuesday against the Rays make him a prime candidate to stay on turn for the ESPN contest, but if Danks is ready to go after the one-start absence, he could slide into Sunday night's slot and Richard would work in Monday's series opener against the Twins.
One move made official was hard-throwing rookie Aaron Poreda being optioned to Charlotte following Tuesday's 3-2 loss to the Rays. Poreda, 22, was 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 10 relief appearances this season. The White Sox will need to make another roster move when Colon is activated from the disabled list on Friday.
As for what is known about Torres, he comes in with an 8-4 record and an impressive 2.20 ERA as the Knights' staff ace. Torres was selected in the 15th round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft and has started in 67 of his 157 career Minor League appearances. He has 96 strikeouts and 38 walks in 98 innings this season, giving up a paltry 72 hits and three home runs.
There will be more information to come on Torres once he takes the mound on Wednesday.
"Torres has done a great job," Cooper said. "He's the next guy in line, and everybody feels he's the best selection to come up here and help us. He has a good fastball. I saw him pitch on TV, and I liked the location on his fastball. He has a nice curve and cutter. He's a deserving kid who has worked hard in our system."
"Hopefully that will be good enough for [Danks] to come back and continue the season," said Guillen, regarding Danks missing one start. "He only feels bad when he throws his cutter, but I don't like the way he was looking."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.