The Chicago White Sox have decided the corresponding move to acquiring Francisco Liriano, will be to option Hector Santiago down to AAA Charlotte. This move means that Matt Thornton and Leyson Septimo are the only lefties in the bullpen. Manager Robin Ventura said Monday that Santiago will be stretched out a little as a starter in AAA.
Santiago, 24, started the season as the closer and had mixed results. But overall, he has an ERA of 3.66 in 39.1 innings to go with 43/21 K/BB and only 32 hits given up. One of the main problems for Santiago has been the fact that he has given up seven home runs.
I think one reason that it was Santiago that was sent down is that Septimo is out of options and the White Sox didn’t think he would clear waivers. Another reason could be that Santiago has been used more as a long reliever as of late and with a somewhat six man rotation starting, the Sox felt that Septimo was the better lefty specialist. Last, I think stretching Santiago out in AAA just gives the Sox a trusty 7 starter after Phil Humber and he can get more work in AAA and get ready for a September call up and the stretch run.
With Santiago going to AAA that leaves the bullpen looking like this, 9th inning- Addison Reed, 8th inning- Thornton/Jessie Crain, and middle relievers Septimo, Brett Myers and Nate Jones. When the bullpen is fully healthy as it finally is now, the Sox are very strong and have good veteran leadership.
Also the White Sox have purchased the contract of Rey Olmedo to take the place of the traded Eduardo Escobar.