By Bruce Levine-
U.S. CELLULAR FIELD (CBS) — Manager Robin Ventura welcomed career minor league starter Scott Carroll to the rotation on Sunday. When you are relegated to starting a 29-year-old minor league pitcher 25 games into the season, people will point it out but have little empathy for you.
“We really have no choice,” Ventura said, when asked how they are getting by with three of their opening day starters either on the DL or in the minors. “We just have to go and find it. We are not any different than anybody else who has injuries or ineffective outings. You just find someone else and try not to make too much out of it.”
Ventura has had the double whammy of not enough innings by his starters and sporadic bullpen performances to complicate his use of the beleaguered staff. The manager admitted that he spends a tremendous amount of time with his coaching staff trying to project usage for his pitchers.
“We are always discussing different ways we can help and do things,” he said. “If you’re doing well or not, you are always talking and trying to make things work.”
Like their manager, there appears a quiet confidence on this team that has allowed them to come from behind and win four games in their last at-bat. Still trying to stay in games has pushed Ventura to use his starters beyond normal early-season pitch counts. John Danks threw 122 pitches without completing six innings on Saturday night.
“Our guys throw a lot of pitches anyway,” Ventura related. “You look in the fifth or sixth inning and they are getting close to 100, so we are probably 20-25 pitches above anyone else by the time we get to the fifth or sixth.”
No immediate relief is in sight for the Sox right now. It is unclear when Chris Sale will begin his throwing again. He is taking his medications and having stimulation treatments.
“He is going to have to do something before he goes back on the mound,” Ventura said. “We are not going to just throw him out there if he has not thrown or we aren’t 100 percent positive he is feeling good.”