After his first three starts of the season, some Chicago White Sox fans were calling for Felipe Paulino to be given the axe. Optimistic people, on the other hand, pointed to the fact that Paulino only struggled in two out of the three starts and that he deserved a chance due to his continued recovery from Tommy John surgery. Paulino backers thought that the righty showed some poise while getting tattooed for six runs in each of his last two starts. They pointed to the game on Friday night against the Texas Rangers as a make-or-break one for the pitcher. Either people walked away from Paulino’s outing with reassurance that he could be given some more time to prove himself or a list of potential replacements would be penciled.
Watching Friday night’s game made White Sox fans’ eyes bleed. In only 3.2 innings pitched, Paulino surrendered 10 runs on 13 hits. The hefty right hander left pitch after pitch over the heart of the plate. His breaking pitches would not break and his once-tailing fastball had zero life to it. The Rangers teed off on every single mistake Paulino made. A lineup consisting of mostly unproven youngsters and journeymen bench players, clobbered the Sox starter as if he was tossing batting practice to them. There was not one positive anyone could take out of Paulino’s performance. For the third straight outing, the offseason signee left fans shaking their heads at what they saw.
Does anybody lose their spot on a roster forever only half a month into the season? No. Should the White Sox at least take Paulino out of the starting rotation? Absolutely. There is nothing that Paulino has done that warrants giving him the ball every fifth day.
The 30-year-old is guaranteed 1.5 million dollars the rest of this season. Not a hefty price tag, but one that allows him a chance to stay on the roster for the near future. Recent pickup Tommy Hanson is nowhere close to making the majors. That, along with Dylan Axelrod and Andre Rienzo not being considered major upgrades, ensures Paulino a spot in the majors for some time. Still, career minor-league player Scott Carroll has been tearing it up in AAA this year, sporting a record of 3-0 with a perfect ERA and opponents hitting .197 against him. Carroll does not appear to factor into the White Sox rebuilding plans, but he at least deserves a shot to show what he is made of. Quite frankly, he cannot do much worse than what Paulino has done to this point.