CLEVELAND -- The White Sox opted for a 13th pitcher and eighth reliever to take the roster spot of Gordon Beckham, who was officially placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday with a hamate bone fracture in his left wrist, a fracture that will cost Beckham six weeks and will be operated on Tuesday in Cleveland. Deunte Heath, 27, was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte after striking out six in three innings over two relief appearances for the Knights.
White Sox starting pitchers had lasted seven innings in just two of the first nine games this year, and both of those efforts belonged to Chris Sale. During the Nationals' three-game sweep, Jake Peavy pitched just 5 2/3 innings and Gavin Floyd made it through 5 1/3 innings, and it was just 3 2/3 innings for Dylan Axelrod on Thursday. Heath gives the White Sox another middle relief option, especially with Hector Santiago having thrown 3 1/3 scoreless innings over the last two games.
"With Gordon going down, the way our last games have done, you're sitting there and looking at using guys over and over again," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "The way we use our lineup and everything else, guys just play.
"You don't see a lot of pinch-hit opportunities in there and things like that. They're either playing or pinch-run. For right now, it lets guys kind of get a break between coming and doing what we need to do that way."
Heath was chosen over third baseman Brent Morel or infielder Steve Tolleson, who would have needed to be added to the 40-man roster, which is at 40. He was also selected over fellow Charlotte reliever Brian Omogrosso because Heath was throwing the best according to the reports.
"It's not forever. Again, for right now, that makes the most logic for me," Ventura said. "The biggest thing is you get another guy who can extend, throw multiple innings, and he has the ability to do that. I think Hector was in the last couple nights, so it kind of protects overusing him, too."