7/1/2014 6:12 P.M. ET
Petricka latest in committee to notch save
White Sox want ninth-inning opportunities to elevate youngsters' skills
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- Jake Petricka kept the baseball after recording the save on May 19 in Kansas City because it was the first save of his career. The White Sox right-hander didn't get another save opportunity until Friday in Toronto, but he claims the pressure felt about the same as in all the seventh and eighth innings he'd worked during the previous five weeks.
"There's a rush pitching every time. That's the enjoyment of the game," Petricka said. "Just if anything, it's more focused. You don't want to fall behind the hitter. That's never a good thing. It's all about attacking the strike zone no matter what inning it is -- the first or the ninth."
The offseason trade of Addison Reed -- who recorded 69 saves over the past two seasons -- combined with Ronald Belisario's ninth-inning struggles, as well as injuries suffered by Nate Jones and Matt Lindstrom, produced a closer by committee. Five pitchers have recorded saves for the White Sox in 2014, including Scott Downs, who is no longer with the team.
The ninth-inning role could go to Petricka, Zach Putnam or even recent left-handed callup Eric Surkamp. Regardless of which pitcher Robin Ventura chooses, the White Sox manager believes it's a new responsibility that is part of a beneficial long-term learning process for the young hurlers.
"You become more experienced in different situations that you come in," Ventura said. "You start getting in at the end of the game when you are pitching for somebody's win, and that creates a different element than just pitching in a big league game. There's your teammate, it's his win and it becomes important. That's when you start stretching these guys a little bit experience wise."
"We just treat it as the seventh or eighth inning, because you never know who it's going to be based on the matchups," Petricka said. "Just add the ninth inning as another matchup inning, and we'll all be ready whenever our name is called."
No. 3 prospect Anderson has fractured right wrist
CHICAGO -- Tim Anderson, the White Sox top pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft and the team's No. 3 prospect, will miss the next four to six weeks with a fracture in his right wrist.
Anderson sustained the injury approximately 10 days ago when he was hit by a pitch, according to White Sox director of player development Nick Capra, but continued to play until the wrist slowly got worse. X-rays showed a fracture that will not require surgery, but he will be checked periodically to see how the wrist is healing.
The 21-year-old was hitting .298 with six homers, seven triples and 18 doubles, to go with 10 stolen bases and 48 runs, for Class A Winston-Salem at the time the fracture was discovered.
White Sox pitchers have friendly soccer rivalry
CHICAGO -- Team USA's attempt to reach the World Cup quarterfinals certainly was front and center prior to Tuesday's doubleheader action against the Angels at U.S. Cellular Field. The game was shown on the center-field scoreboard during batting practice, while the ChiSox Bar & Grill was open early for fans to watch the contest.
For White Sox pitchers Jose Quintana and Andre Rienzo, the World Cup focus extends to Friday afternoon, when Colombia takes on Brazil. Quintana is a native of Colombia, and his good friend, Rienzo, is a proud Brazilian.
"I'm so happy with my country. But I'm not going to talk to Rienzo anymore until after the game," Quintana said with a laugh. "Everybody in Colombia is talking about that game."
Brazil, the host country for the World Cup and one of the competition's stronger teams, was expected to get to the quarterfinals. Quintana joked that Colombia's victory over Uruguay last Saturday was a little bit bigger in his home country than his win over Mark Buehrle on Sunday in Toronto.
"Soccer is the first sport in Colombia," Quintana said. "I'm so happy with the final score, and Colombia played real good. The next game will be harder."
White Sox rallying All-Star support for Sale
CHICAGO -- If not for an absence of 35 days due to a flexor muscle strain in his left arm, there would be no question about Chris Sale's All-Star candidacy for the 2014 season. But even with Sale's injury-induced inactivity, the White Sox still believe Sale belongs in his third Midsummer Classic.
"You are also trying to win the game, so you are trying to take the best guys," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said regarding Sale, who threw two scoreless innings in last year's All-Star Game. "He has done it over not this just year, but the last couple of years. That stuff to me, you are looking at a guy that's at the top of his game, whether he missed a little bit of time. He's still one of the better pitchers, and his numbers prove it out."
"I really don't think there's much debate that he's one of the best pitchers in the American League," White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers said. "I would guess the majority of teams would agree, especially guys in our division."
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday at 10:59 p.m. ET. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15 on FOX.
Pitchers are selected by their peers or by AL manager John Farrell, and Sale figures to get plenty of support in either corner. Through 12 starts, Sale has posted a 2.30 ERA. He has fanned 84, walked 16 and allowed 54 hits over 78 1/3 innings. Opponents have hit .194 against him, while Josh Hamilton and Gregor Blanco are the only left-handed hitters to produce hits against Sale in 51 plate appearances.
Jose Abreu and Alexei Ramirez also figure to get serious All-Star consideration among the White Sox if they are not voted in by the fans.
Third to first
• Right-handed hurler Mitchell Boggs was released Tuesday by Triple-A Charlotte to make room for Henry Rodriguez. Boggs, an offseason free-agent addition by the White Sox, posted a 9.50 ERA over 25 games with the Knights, allowing 64 hits and 17 walks over 36 innings pitched.
• Winston-Salem outfielder Jacob May has been named Carolina League Player of the Week for June 23-29 after hitting .533 (16-for-30) with four doubles, two triples, 12 runs scored and nine stolen bases in seven games. May, 22, ranks third in the Carolina League with 28 stolen bases this season.
• Ventura didn't take long to respond when asked if the Angels' Mike Trout would be the young player he would build a franchise around.
"Yes, he would be the guy. THE guy," Ventura said. "There is not anything that he doesn't do. He can hit anywhere in the important spots in the lineup, play anywhere in the outfield. I don't think there is anybody in the league that does what he does."