Jose Contreras Pitches His Way To The Bullpen

Former World Series hero has used up his chances

cody-allen
NBC 5 News

Friday night's White Sox game was the final test for Jose Contreras.  Coming into the game with an 0-4 record and an ERA of 8.31, manager Ozzie Guillen made it clear to Contreras that he had one more start to get his act together or he was out of the starting rotation.

Contreras did not pass the test.

He gave up five runs, two of them unearned, in 3.2 innings of work, allowing six hits and walking two.  He also managed to throw two wild pitches and hit a batter before being booed off the mound in his home park.  A park in which three and a half years ago he was a key member of a White Sox World Series champion.

If there was any good news about the start, it's that Contreras actually lowered his ERA from 8.31 to 8.19.  So good for him.

Unfortunately that wasn't enough to keep Guillen from confirming after the game that Contreras is no longer a part of the rotation, and will now be relegated to the bullpen.  Whether he'll be there forever nobody is saying, but Contreras' fate is in his own hands.  Or to be more precise, his ability to throw strikes.

"I don't know if [the bullpen] will do any good," said Guillen. "I think he just needs to pitch. But in the meantime, it's not fair to the ballclub or him to keep sending him out there."

As for what the Sox plan on doing to replace Contreras, they don't have any plans as of yet.  He isn't scheduled to pitch again until Wednesday in Cleveland, and right now it looks like it will be either Clayton Richard or D.J. Carrasco taking his spot.  Both pitched in relief of Contreras on Friday night.

There are also other options in the minor leagues, but none are all that attractive and it's hard to believe Kenny Williams is going to sign one of the available free agent pitchers just yet.

Along with writing for NBCCHICAGO.com, Tom Fornelli can also be found contributing at FanHouse, SPORTSbyBROOKS, and his own Chicago sports blog Foul Balls.

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