White Sox issue Veal recall after optioning Heath

Donnie Veal gets a second shot at wearing way better throwbacks. - @realdveal / Instagram

Robin Ventura's bullpen is back to two lefties, but he shouldn't think he has a LOOGY

It was only 17 days ago that Donnie Veal lost his spot in the White Sox bullpen. An inability to find the strike zone -- especially against lefties -- forced the Sox to option him to Triple-A, with Brian Omogrosso coming up from Charlotte to take his place.

Veal took the bad news well:

He also made good use of his return to Charlotte, because after four scoreless appearances, the White Sox brought him back into the mix today. Deunte Heath was optioned to Charlotte after Friday's game to make room.

Veal got back to throwing strikes, as his overall line is pretty impressive for a couple of weeks:

Year Tm W L G IP H R BB SO HBP
2013 Charlotte 1 0 4 8.0 10 0 2 10 1

But when you drill down into his splits, there's one thing Robin Ventura should probably know:

Split PA H 2B 3B HR BB SO BA OBP SLG HBP
vs LHB as LHP 10 5 1 0 0 0 2 .500 .500 .500 0
vs RHB as LHP 25 5 1 0 0 2 8 .227 .320 .273 1

While Veal got back to attacking hitters, he also resumed his tradition of maintaining reverse splits. He saw the same thing happen at Charlotte last year. Lefties didn't really punish him (.242/.356/.258), but they made him work harder than righties did (.195/.290/.227).

That's what makes last year's stunning success against Prince Fielder and friends all the more stunning. But his subsequent performance against lefties, both with the Sox and Knights, suggests that two-month roll was an incredibly enjoyable anomaly.

So as Ventura tries to get Veal back up to speed, I hope he won't pick the same situations that gave Veal problems over the first month. It sounds like he's going to be tempted to:

The Sox had been down to one lefty in the bullpen, Matt Thornton.

"You go through different spots in the game where it becomes important to be able to have them,'' manager Robin Ventura said. "I think even the way we've been using Matty, you can do more than that, but you're saving him for that one tough at-bat against a lefty. Donnie, we've had good reports on him of getting his curve back and it's nice to have him back."

And it's understandable. Veal was so damned good against lefties in 2012 that it's easy to chalk up his lefty problems this season (.600 OBP!) to his sudden strike-zone allergies. But there's a lot of evidence saying he's not cut out for high-leverage LOOGY work, and using Veal in those high-leverage, one-batter situations could continue to backfire. His profile suggests he's more effective in full low-to-medium-leverage innings, and he'd be a better fit for that role in the majors than Heath.

It'd just be nice if the Sox offense could give him some garbage time in order to allow Ventura to test him without risk. Don't hold your breath, though, because these Sox lead the majors in one-run games, making the low-leverage situation more myth than fact this season.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join South Side Sox

You must be a member of South Side Sox to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at South Side Sox. You should read them.

Join South Side Sox

You must be a member of South Side Sox to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at South Side Sox. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker