White Sox’ young relievers will get chances to show stuff in September
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A friendly practical joke was left-hander Caleb Frare’s introduction to the big leagues.
Talking to reporters in the White Sox’ clubhouse Saturday, Frare said he had been suspended a few days earlier for plunking a batter in the ninth inning of a minor-league game.
Class AAA Charlotte manager Mark Grudzielanek called Frare into his office and told him the suspension had been lifted — but he still couldn’t pitch for the Knights.
A confused Frare asked for an explanation.
“Grudz pulled a prank on me,” Frare said. “He paused, he’s got a straight face, and then he’s like, ‘You’re going up to Chicago. They need you to throw tomorrow.’ I just couldn’t believe it.”
Frare, 25, who was promoted along with fellow left-hander Aaron Bummer before the 6-1 loss to the Red Sox, is one of a number of youngsters in the Sox’ bullpen who will be auditioning for 2019.
Bummer and Frare join a fresh-faced bullpen that includes Ian Hamilton, Ryan Burr and Thyago Vieira. Their potential will be on display for Sox fans during the last month of the season.
“They’re going to get an opportunity for us to see what they can do with 30 days left,” manager Rick Renteria said. “[We’re going to] allow them to learn, get some experience. We get to see a little more up close where they might fit.”
Frare, who was acquired from the Yankees in July for international bonus-pool money, went 1-0 with an ERA of 0.71 and 19 strikeouts in 11 appearances at Charlotte. He said his fastball is touching 97 mph.
His parents, grandparents and fiancée were in attendance, but Frare didn’t get into the game.
“It’s really cool that they’re considering me to be a part of their future,” the Miles City, Montana, native said. “And I’m excited to be here. I’m excited for the opportunity to be a part of that future.”
Hamilton, 23, made his debut the same day he was promoted, pitching a 1-2-3 ninth inning Friday. He is the 16th-ranked prospect in the organization, according to MLB Pipeline.
Burr made his own major-league debut less than two weeks ago and has made three appearances. He allowed his first run in 1„ innings of relief Saturday against the Red Sox.
Vieira, while inconsistent, is hitting 99 mph with his fastball.
With Jace Fry putting away left-handers and Dylan Covey working things out in the bullpen, the Sox have the potential for a young, powerful relief corps in 2019.
“There are going to be times when we are going to go ahead and use them and try to get a feel for who they are,” Renteria said. “The situations themselves will dictate how we use them. . . . We want to see if guys are going to be able to go to both sides of the box, face righties and lefties and things of that nature.”
Boston relegated the Sox’ bullpen to mostly cleanup duty. Carlos Rodon made it through 6„ innings before his own throwing error opened the door to a three-run seventh.
Red Sox pitchers had 18 strikeouts. The top third of the Sox’ order — Tim Anderson, Nicky Delmonico and Avisail Garcia — combined to go 1-for-11 with 10 strikeouts.
Notes: Right fielder Avisail Garcia left in the seventh inning with a sore right knee. He’s day-to-day.
• Carlos Rodon had his streak of nine quality starts snapped.
• Yolmer Sanchez has reached base safely in 20 consecutive games, a career high.