(MCT) — Slightly more than seven years ago, Trevor Reckling was part of a talented group of high school pitchers from the Newark, N.J., area that included Rick Porcello of Detroit and left-hander Hector Santiago of the Chicago White Sox.
In fact, Reckling pitched in the Futures Game in 2009 and was pitching for the Los Angeles Angels’ Triple-A Salt Lake affiliate the following year at 21.
But now Reckling, 23, apparently is being viewed as a reclamation project for the Sox, who signed the left-hander to a minor league contract late last week after his release from the Angels last season.
In a span of 12 months, the Sox have signed left-handed relievers Donnie Veal, David Purcey and Reckling, who all failed despite being drafted high or experiencing instant success.
Some scouts believe that the Sox, with their history of resurrecting former left-handers who have struggled in other organizations (Matt Thornton and Veal, to name two), might be able to correct the problems of Reckling, who walked 15 in 6 2/3 innings at Class-A Inland Empire before his release.
But Reckling, unlike Thornton and Veal, relies more on a change-up and curve than a fastball that has dipped from the low 90 mph range.
Reckling’s situation is intriguing because of his youth and the Sox’s tendency to try to polish pitchers with powerful arms. The Sox certainly will give Reckling plenty of attention and resources to try to steer him back on track. But given the fact he had a 3.73 ERA in 17 starts at Double-A Arkansas at 22, his signing certainly is worth any risk the Sox are taking.
Santiago, meanwhile, has a 1.57 ERA after four starts for Carolina in the Puerto Rican Winter League. Santiago walked five in seven innings Thursday against Santurce but allowed only two earned runs.
Infielder Carlos Sanchez, one of the Sox’s top prospects is 3-for-12 with two doubles in his first three games for LaGuaira of the Venezuelan Winter League. Sanchez went 1-for-5 with a double and three strikeouts Saturday night in LaGuaira’s 11-9 loss to Margarita.