Pitcher Scott Carroll had a strong big-league debut for the White Sox on Sunday, pitching 7 1/3 innings and allowing just two runs, one earned, against David Price and the Rays. It’s been a long journey to the Majors for Carroll, who is 29 and was a third-round pick of the Reds all the way back in 2007. He made it all the way to Triple-A before the Reds released him in 2012. The White Sox then scooped him up, but he got hurt while pitching in Venezuela after the season and needed Tommy John surgery. He got back to the mound just eight months later, pitching for Double-A Birmingham near the end of the 2013 minor-league season. He had pitched well in four starts for Triple-A Charlotte in 2014 before finally getting the call. Here are more notes from the Central divisions.
- The Cubs have become baseball’s version of a prison, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times writes. That’s hyperbole, obviously, but Wittenmyer does quote former Cubs pitcher Matt Garza on what advice he would give current Cub Jeff Samardzija: “All I can tell him is keep pitching; pitch your way out of it,” says Garza. “Keep your eyes focused, your eyes straight ahead and just pitch. There’s nothing else you can do.” Samardzija is a likely summer trade candidate.
- For pitchers, drops in velocity are worrisome indeed, as Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan points out. Justin Masterson‘s velocity is significantly off this season for the Indians — his four-seamer is off about 3.6 MPH from last year. (Jorge De La Rosa of the Rockies is at the other end of the spectrum, with a velocity increase of 1.81 MPH.) Masterson’s missing velocity may show why the Indians only offered him an extension in the three-year, $45MM range this spring.