The White Sox have designated veteran lefty Scott Downs for assignment, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com tweeted last night that a move was likely, as Downs bid farewell to his teammates.
As MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes reported recently, Downs’ contract included a $4.25MM option that would vest with 55 appearances. After last night’s outing, the 38-year-old had already thrown in 38 games. That appearance, however, was also the second in two days in which he allowed an earned run without registering an out, and he left the evening with a 6.08 ERA over 23 2/3 innings.
Though he is striking out hitters at a better-than-usual 8.4 K/9 clip, Downs has posted a career-worst 5.7 BB/9 mark. Nevertheless, ERA estimators are somewhat more favorably disposed to Downs’s work on the year, as he owns a 3.69 FIP, 4.07 xFIP, and 3.96 SIERA. While his 58.5% strand rate is one mark that looks prime for regression, that is also perhaps a reflection of the fact that he has been less than successful in his LOOGY role. On the other hand, Downs has held opposing left-handed hitters to a .225/.309/.367 mark; his real issue has been with righties, who own a .296/.415/.364 triple-slash against him.