There were a lot of positive things that happened last season for the Chicago White Sox: they led the American League Central for a majority of the season, they had a lot of players who had bounceback seasons, Chris Sale emerged as one of the best pitchers in baseball, and Donnie Veal turned into one of the most dominant LOOGYs in recent memory. But is it possible for Veal to do the same thing in 2013?
Given the injury uncertainty with Matt Thornton, everyone’s favorite punching bag, the White Sox really do not have a go-to left-handed reliever in the bullpen. Hector Santiago is too inconsistent to be trusted on a regular basis, and Leyson Septimo has as much control as a frat boy at closing time. This is why Veal needs to pick up right where he left off and emerge as the go-to LOOGY in the White Sox bullpen.
If you are unfamiliar with the term LOOGY, it stands for Lefty One-Out GuY, otherwise known as a left-handed specialist. From looking at the numbers last season, there really wasn’t a more dominant one from August-September than Veal. The White Sox LOOGY only allowed three hits to 34 batters faced last season, with an OPS allowed barely over .300 while striking out 14.
Any negative Nellie would look at sample size when it comes to Veal, and I couldn’t really argue against it. Prior to last season, the former first-round pick has bounced around from club to club, walking seemingly everyone in sight. But everything just magical clicked last season for Veal, and I believe everything will click again in 2013.
If Veal does what he did last season, the White Sox will have one of the better bullpens in baseball this year, which is something they will need if they want to have any chance in the American League Central.