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Veal rejoins Sox to add options in bullpen

Veal rejoins Sox to add options in bullpen

ANAHEIM -- A second left-handed reliever was added to the White Sox bullpen when Donnie Veal was called up from Triple-A Charlotte prior to Saturday afternoon's contest against the Angels. Veal, 28, took the spot of Deunte Heath, who was optioned to Charlotte following Friday's victory.

Veal posted a 1-0 record with a 4.26 ERA over 12 relief appearances after breaking camp with the White Sox but was optioned to Charlotte on May 1 when he struggled with control, especially on his out-pitch, the curveball. The White Sox hope the Veal who limited left-handed hitters to three hits in 32 at-bats last year is the pitcher who has rejoined the team.

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"He went out and did it," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Veal's Minor League adjustments, fanning 10 over eight scoreless innings. "I don't know if it's a reward, but you get him back as quick as you can because he's important.

"There are different spots in the game where it becomes important to be able to have them. I think even the way we've been using Matty [Thornton], it's one of those where you can do more than that, but you're saving him for that one tough at-bat against a lefty. Donnie, we've had good reports on him of getting his curve back and it's nice to have him back."

Thornton knows that the White Sox have a group of right-handed relievers who can handle left-handed hitters as well as right-handers. The veteran readily acknowledges that an effective Veal simply makes a strong bullpen unit even better.

Thornton has gone 11 straight appearances without allowing an earned run, partially because of changes in mechanics he made after watching video.

"Just a couple of tweaks that I saw. It wasn't anything major, crazy or an overhaul," Thornton said. "But just a couple of little things that I wasn't doing with my drive to the plate. Just made some adjustments and got the ball down in the zone.

"It was something I was worried about with balls up in the zone. I got it back down in the zone and the breaking ball has been better."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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