Relief Help in the Minors

It’s no secret that the White Sox bullpen has had its issues this year. Lately Sox relievers have been much better. The relief core has given up just three earned runs in May. Still, Sox fans might be wondering what other options there are. There are a few relievers with some potential in the system that are off to strong starts in the high minors, read on to see who.

Dan Remenowsky, RH, Birmingham
19 IP, 1.42 ERA, 26 K, 1 BB, 5 H, 2 SV

Considering how few base runners Remenowsky has let on base this season (0.32 WHIP), it’s amazing he has given up even three runs. The right-hander was undrafted, but has been fantastic as a professional reliever. His high leg kick has made deception a key for him so it was reasonable to think the jump to AA could give him trouble. It’s clear he has put any of those doubts to rest. It would be nice to see him face more experienced and disciplined hitters in AAA this year with a September White Sox debut as the goal. Remenowsky could contend for a bullpen spot next spring.

Gregory Infante, RH, Birmingham/Charlotte
16.1 IP, 0 ER, 16 K, 8 BB, 9 H, 7 SV

Infante was the Barons’ primary closer until making his AAA debut on Sunday. Those walks are obviously a concern, but Infante has good enough stuff to pitch in the Majors. If you remember, Infante got a cup of coffee last year (4.2 IP, 0 R, 5 K, 4 BB, 2 H) and should at least receive the same this year.

Jhonny Nunez, RH, Charlotte
15.2 IP, 4.07 ERA, 19 K, 4 BB, 10 H

This is a perfect example of how ERA can be misleading for a reliever. Nunez has great peripherals, but gave up six runs in one outing that inflated his ERA. Other than that nightmare he’s only given up one run the rest of the season. Like Infante, he has Major League experience. Nunez’s cup of coffee came in 2009 (5.2 IP, 6 R, 3 K, 2 BB, 10 H). He’s not a high upside reliever, but if the Sox want to bring someone up internally he could be first on the list.

Brian Omogrosso, RH, Birmingham
15 IP, 1.20 ERA, 20 K, 3 BB, 11 H

Omogrosso is a bit of a blast from the past. He’s had multiple arm injuries, including one that caused him to miss almost all of 2010, but is having a fine season with the Barons. At 27 time is running out, but if his stuff is where it was before his latest injury he could earn a shot at some point.

There are a few others to take note of, but don’t classify as prospects. Knights’ relievers Brian Bruney (16.2 IP, 1.62 ERA, 24 K, 8 BB) and Josh Kinney (16.1 IP, 21 K, 3 BB) both have Major League experience. So does lefty Wes Whisler, who was drafted by the Sox back in 2004, but he’s currently rehabbing from an injury with Winston-Salem. On the opposite end, Anthony Carter (18.1 IP, 7.85 ERA, 16 K, 8 BB) and Miguel Socolovich (17.1 IP, 4.67 ERA, 26 K, 11 BB) of Charlotte and Birmingham’s Nate Jones (16.1 IP, 5.51 ERA, 14 K, 12 BB) are talented pitchers that aren’t getting it done right now.

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