NEW YORK -- Leyson Septimo became the latest rookie to join the White Sox pitching staff when the southpaw had his contract purchased from Triple-A Charlotte prior to Thursday's series opener in New York. Septimo took the spot of veteran hurler Will Ohman, who was designated for assignment.
Over 21 relief appearances for the Knights, Septimo, 26, posted a 2-1 record with a 1.48 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 30 1/3 innings. Opposing hitters produced a .135 average against Septimo, with a .095 against (4-for-42) for left-handed hitters.
"The biggest difference was when I was in Charlotte, I wasn't trying to throw hard all the time, and [I was] just [trying to] make pitches," said Septimo through translator and White Sox manager of cultural development Jackson Miranda. "When I did need to throw hard, I did, but it wasn't like every pitch I was trying to throw hard."
"He had a pretty good Spring Training, and has a good lefty arm," said White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper. "He worked on all the stuff we talked about and had some success."
According to manager Robin Ventura, Septimo will be used primarily as a left-handed specialist, a role with which Septimo is comfortable. That was the role designed for Ohman, who held left-handers to a .186 average. But his overall 6.41 ERA and six home runs allowed in 26 2/3 innings eventually spelled out his exit.
"[General manager] Kenny [Williams] came in, and it was something that he wanted to make that move," Ventura said. "It was hard finding spots for him and getting him in there, and more of the reports were we wanted to get a guy like Septimo in there who has had more success against lefties."
"Will is a good guy. We all wish him the best," Cooper said. "It just didn't work out."
Septimo joins Addison Reed, Nate Jones, Hector Santiago, Dylan Axelrod and Jose Quintana as the rookie contingent on this staff. Cooper relishes the challenge of helping these youngsters support a potentially playoff-bound team.
"It's kind of like, in some ways, a very instructional setting. It's fun," Cooper said. "It's an awful lot of fun seeing them go out there when they do well and succeed. It's not totally frustrating to me when they don't.
"Everything they do is looked at and watched and tried to be monitored and make sure we give them the best chance to stay healthy and strong. We want them to go out healthy, strong until we sprint across the finish line, not crawl across it."