Chicago White Sox
Jake Petricka notched back-to-back saves on July 21 and 24 in place of the injured Zach Putnam. He’s said to be getting more save opportunities than not for the White Sox and he’s been dependable all season with a few minor hiccups. Contrast that with Ronald Belisario, who has continued to be a mess in his outings, and I think there’s a clear path to saves for Petricka in the short term. Matt Lindstrom is looming, but he isn’t so compelling that he will immediately take the job from Petricka upon his arrival. My advice: Hold on to Petricka in the short term and wait for health to clear itself up regarding Lindstrom.
There are a few rumors flying around Neil Ramirez and his demotion to Triple-A Iowa. Let’s clear a few things up. I don’t think the demotion was made with converting him into a starter in mind. Ramirez has worked well with a simplified repertoire and he is finally in a groove. There were some arm concerns earlier in the year so for me this seems like a move that was made to rest the pitcher more than anything. The Cubs have an odd roster crunch that includes a revolving door for the fifth starter job. There’s going to be a shuttle between Chicago and Iowa until the roster issues are cleared up. I think Ramirez is a reliever in the short and long term as I think it’s unlikely they waste the development time and risk the possibility of ruining him to try and squeeze starter upside out of him. In the meantime, Hector Rondon is still your guy in this ‘pen.
The Tigers are sticking with Joe Nathan here in spite of acquiring Joakim Soria from the Rangers. The Tigers are playing for October here, and I think it’s likely that they add another arm to the mix to weaponize the bullpen. Nathan did strike out the side on July 24 to notch his 21st save of the season. Nathan has been rumored to be working on his mechanics for some time now, but I still think Soria eventually ends up with the job.
Neftali Feliz (remember him?) has yet to deliver the typical high strikeout rate we’re used to seeing as he’s only got four strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings of work. He does have 17 swinging strikes over those innings, however, so I think the strikeouts will come. Neal Cotts and Shawn Tolleson are waiting in the wings, but I think Feliz holds on here.
Addison Reed struck out the side in a non-save situation, allowing one hit. His ERA has hovered around 4.00 for a while now. He has a chance to finish strong, but I think in that park, he’ll always have his rough patches.