(MCT) What was once a source of luxury will become an area of scrutiny for the White Sox.
With Hector Santiago taking the spot of Gavin Floyd in the rotation and Donnie Veal optioned Wednesday to Triple-A Charlotte, the Sox now have only one left-handed reliever _ Matt Thornton _ in their bullpen.
Those transactions leave Jesse Crain, Matt Lindstrom and Nate Jones with the responsibility of retiring left-handed batters more frequently than in the past.
"It's now their innings," pitching coach Don Cooper said. "We are not going to look to get them lefties or righties. They are experienced enough and have had success against them. We are going to let them go."
Of the three relievers, Crain has the best success against left-handed hitters, limiting them to a .238 batting average (5-for-21).
The middle or "loose" innings, as Cooper called them, will go to Deunte Heath and recently promoted Brian Omogrosso.
Second-year struggles: Veal's struggles were attributed to his inability to throw first pitch breaking pitches for strikes, which led to left-handed hitters collecting five hits in 11 at-bats against Veal with four walks.
"We gave him every shot," Cooper said of Veal, who limited left-handed hitters to three hits in 32 at-bats in 2012. "Donnie Veal is in a pass or fail role. It's a small thing. And if you aren't getting that lefty, it's like a chain out there and somebody else has to do the work. If you are not getting the lefty or walking the lefty or giving up hits, we just don't have time right here.
"We don't have the luxury of giving you the time to try to work your way through it because it becomes more work for other guys. So, we made that move."
Surprise promotion: Omogrosso, one of the more affable players in the Sox organization, wasn't overly surprised he got promoted despite posting a 6.52 ERA in seven appearances with Charlotte.
"Any call at 1 in the morning, it surprises you," Omogrosso quipped. "It didn't really surprise me. I just accept the challenge whenever it comes upon me and take it from there."
Omogrosso didn't allow an earned run in 10 games (121/3 innings) this spring but said he struggled with his delivery at Charlotte. The fact Omogrosso had a 2.57 ERA with 18 strikeouts in 17 appearances in 2012 fuels his confidence.
"I've done some things at this level already," Omogrosso said. "I'll just take it in stride and see how it goes."
Extra innings: Ventura and bench coach Mark Parent will leave the team for parts of the series against the A's June 6-9 to attend the high school graduations of their children in California. ... Special assistant Art Kusnyer and former Sox hitting coach Greg Walker will be honored on July 21 as part of the Sox's 40th anniversary of their 1983 American League West title season. Kusnyer is the Sox's former bullpen coach who now serves as a special assistant to Ventura. Walker was the first baseman on the 1983 team and now is the hitting coach for the Braves.