The Chicago White Sox started mostly batters who will begin the year in the minors. The Milwaukee Brewers started mostly batters who are All-Stars. It showed, in an 8-5 win in Phoenix on Monday.
It turns out, you can blame it on the bossa nova.
The Milwaukee regulars rocked Iván Nova for five earned runs in 3 1⁄3 innings, including a solo HR by Ryan Braun and a 3-run job by Cory Spangenburg. It was a far cry from Nova’s first spring start, but at least he didn’t walk anyone.
The same can’t be said for Juan Minaya. While Minaya did manage to throw most of his pitches somewhere between third and first against the Brewer subs, he ended up giving up two hits, two walks and two wild pitches in one inning. The good news is that all that produced only two earned runs, so Minaya actually lowered his spring ERA to 21.21. He was one of the better performers in last year’s bullpen, but something has gone badly awry in 2019.
The other Sox pitchers — Caleb Frare, Dylan Covey, Kelvin Herrera, and Thyago Vieira — all did fine against the Milwaukee subs. Minaya’s were the only walks of the day, and the Sox punched out 10 Brewers.
Unfortunately, the White Sox offense racked up 12 Ks of its own, to only two walks. Starter Jhoulys Chacin completely dominated the South Siders in 4 2⁄3 innings of one-hit, one-walk ball.
There were a few highlights — Adam Engel with a HR, Eloy with an RBI double, James McCann getting two more hits and raising his average to .429 (if he carries this over to the regular season, a whole bunch of us will need to apologize for our reactions to his signing), Luis Robert with a hit and a nice defensive play. But the ninth, when Micker Adolfo and Eddy Alvarez singled, then Charlie Tilson, Craig Dedelow and Preston Tucker all struck out, was too representative of both this afternoon, and the nightmare of 2018 as a whole.
Tomorrow, the Sox take on the Kansas City Royals, with Carson Fulmer and his nice round 9.00 ERA set to start. Damn your eyes, all the most courageous of you. Game time, 3:05 CT.
And in the category of Who?, the White Sox claimed pitcher Josh Osich off of waivers from ... hold on, I think I am reading this right ... the Baltimore Orioles before Monday’s game.
Michael Kopech, who is throwing several times a week from 60-foot distances but is otherwise patiently recovering from Tommy John surgery, was placed on the 60-day injured list (tsk, White Sox, in the press release you’re still calling it the disabled list) to make room for the claim.
The 30-year-old Osich was DFAd by the San Francisco Giants on February 12 and claimed by Baltimore a week later. He pitched in two games for the Orioles before getting DFAd on March 8.
Osich is 6´3´´, 230, and spent most of last year pitching for San Francisco’s Triple-A Sacramento club, finishing with a 4.96 ERA with 42 strikeouts over 37 games (two of them starts). He saw action in 12 games with the Giants, with an 8.25 ERA.
The four-year vet has LOOGY upside, holding lefties to a career .228 batting average. He was a sixth round pick of the Giants in 2011.
The White Sox 40-man holds steady at 40 men.