Amid the rebuilding season that is 2014, the Chicago White Sox‘ plan was to mix and match players without much experience, and hope that victories would follow. Nowhere in the plan was it stated that a 29-year-old career minor leaguer, would come on and silence hitters in his major league debut.
Well, Scott Carroll rewrote the team’s agenda as he tossed 7.1 masterful innings in his major league debut.
People will argue that Carroll faced a middle-of-the-pack Tampa Bay Rays offense that had no scouting report on him. They believe that, much like Andre Rienzo last season, once teams gain more information of what he features, Carroll will be hit around faster than one can say Zach Stewart.
Unlike the aforementioned Stewart, Carroll displayed in a small sample size that he can compete at the major league level. Not much was known about Carroll, even by White Sox fans. All people knew was that he was taking the recently demoted Erik Johnson‘s spot in the rotation, and that he was 3-1 with a 1.57 ERA in the minors this season.
Minor league numbers mean next to nothing. However, with his family and friends in attendance, he showed that he has major league talent.
What was working well for Carroll? It was really everything. His fastball was hitting a majority of the targets that catcher Tyler Flowers was setting up for him. His breaking ball was on point from the beginning and hw was not afraid to throw it late in the count. Just like the endless years in the minors, Carroll battled through adversity. While giving up six hits and two walks, he was able to repeatedly leave runners on base.
The most encouraging sign was his 13:2 GB:FB ratio. Carroll was able to continuously pound low and away to hitters. While his fastball was not overpowering, which has been the case since his Tommy John surgery two years ago, Carroll relied on locating his pitches. Being able deliver an incredible ground ball rate shows that he will thrive in hitter-friendly U.S. Cellular Field.
One game does not mean much in a 162-game season. However, there is no denying that his gem was impressive. While he might not be in the plans for the future quite yet, he has definitely earned at least another start.