Danny Farquhar

White Sox decline to tender contracts to four players, including three relievers as bullpen makeover continues

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USA TODAY

White Sox decline to tender contracts to four players, including three relievers as bullpen makeover continues

The White Sox declined to tender contracts to four players Friday, including a trio of relief pitchers as the bullpen continues to undergo a lengthy remodel.

Relievers Jake Petricka, Zach Putnam and Al Alburquerque, along with infielder Alen Hanson, weren’t tendered 2018 contracts and figure to be out of the White Sox plans for the upcoming season.

Petricka was a mainstay in the bullpen for the past five seasons, making 129 appearances during his most prolific seasons in 2014 and 2015. He picked up 14 saves and posted a 2.96 ERA in the first of those two campaigns. But injuries became an issue, and he made just nine appearances in 2016 before pitching in 27 games last season. He was roughed up in that small sample size this past season for a 7.01 ERA in 25.2 innings of work.

Putnam spent the past four years on the South Side after logging 15 appearances in three seasons with the Indians, Rockies and Cubs. As a member of the White Sox, the former Michigan Wolverine threw 139.1 innings in those four seasons and posted a cumulative ERA of 2.71. But he, too, was bothered by injuries, pitching in just 25 games in 2016 and only seven last year.

Alburqueruqe signed a minor league deal with the White Sox in early August and was called up in September. He made 10 appearances and turned in a 1.13 ERA.

Hanson spent significant time with the team in 2017, playing in 69 games. He slashed .231/.276/.651 in 175 plate appearances, hitting four homers, driving in 10 runs and stealing nine bases.

In other roster news, the White Sox avoided arbitration and agreed to a one-year deal with reliever Danny Farquhar. He posted a 4.40 ERA in 14.1 innings with the team last season.

The bullpen will obviously look a lot different than it did at the beginning of 2016. Friday’s decisions play a factor, of course, but much of the change is thanks to midseason trades, with Rick Hahn shipping David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle, Anthony Swarzak and Dan Jennings out of town in deals with the Yankees, Brewers and Rays.

The White Sox announced that all remaining unsigned players have been tendered contracts for the 2018 season and that the 40-man roster stands at 36.

Chris Volstad earns first MLB victory in five seasons as White Sox top Astros

Chris Volstad earns first MLB victory in five seasons as White Sox top Astros

HOUSTON -- Two weeks ago Chris Volstad was focused on Hurricane Irma prep when the White Sox called to invite him to the majors. On Thursday night, he earned his first major league victory in more than five years as the White Sox defeated the Houston Astros 3-1 at Minute Maid Park.

Volstad, who had only made 10 big league appearances the previous four-plus seasons and spent all of 2017 at Triple-A Charlotte, allowed a run in 4 1/3 innings to pick up his first win since Sept. 10, 2012.

He hadn’t just shut it down after the Triple-A season ended, Volstad was actually shuttering his Jupiter, Fla. home and business the day the short-handed White Sox called.

“I was probably a little mentally shut down,” Volstad said. “But yeah, it’s kind of crazy how things can change. I guess it’s been about two weeks now. At home getting ready for a hurricane and then getting called back up to the big leagues.”

Volstad received word he might pitch early in Thursday’s game when a blister on Carson Fulmer’s right index finger worsened. Fulmer felt some discomfort after his Friday start at Detroit.

The White Sox let Fulmer try to go but yanked him after 20 pitches, including two walks. That brought out Volstad, who along with Al Alburquerque was promoted Sept. 10 after the White Sox lost several pitchers to injury.

The White Sox actually had to track Volstad down two weeks ago as he’d already been home for a week. He spent part of the time prepping for Irma, including boarding up his brewery.

He escaped a first-inning jam with a double play ball of the bat of Carlos Correa and ended a threat in the second with a pickoff at second base of Alex Bregman. After he surrendered a solo homer to Brian McCann in the third, Volstad retired the final eight men he faced.

[MORE: Why the White Sox are optimistic about their middle infielders' potential

He was awarded his first victory since he defeated Thursday’s Astros starter Dallas Keuchel 1,836 days ago here. Volstad remembered the win because Houston was still in the National League and he had a base hit in the five-inning start for the Cubs. He went 3-12 for the Cubs that season.

“You’re able to lock it in pretty quickly and get focused at the big-league level, you have to,” Volstad said. “But being home in Triple-A for the last few years, just getting called up about 10 days ago, I’ve got people following it, but it’s kind of unknown I guess. It’s a little surprising, but I’m glad to be a part of a team for sure.”

Fulmer, Volstad, Jace Fry, Mike Pelfrey, Gregory Infante, Aaron Bummer, Danny Farquhar and Juan Minaya combined on a three-hitter for the White Sox. Tim Anderson extended his hit streak to 12 games with a ninth-inning solo homer, his 17th.

Strained back sends White Sox pitching prospect Reynaldo Lopez to DL

Strained back sends White Sox pitching prospect Reynaldo Lopez to DL

After leaving Thursday's game with soreness, the White Sox are taking a cautious approach with pitching prospect Reynaldo Lopez.

The White Sox announced on Saturday they have placed Lopez on the 10-day disabled list with a strained back and purchased the contract of pitcher Danny Farquhar from Triple-A Charlotte.

White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper noticed Lopez losing both his velocity and command in the fourth inning of his start against the Texas Rangers on Thursday night which prompted a mound visit from manager Rick Renteria and head athletic trainer Herm Schneider. After initially walking back toward the dugout, White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu signaled for Renteria and Schneider to return. Lopez was pulled from the game just moments later.

Lopez is 0-1 with a 6.97 ERA in two starts with the White Sox after getting promoted to the majors on Aug. 11.

Farquhar, 30, signed with the White Sox in July after he was released by the Tampa Bay Rays.

In eight games with Triple-A Charlotte, Farquhar had a 3.00 ERA with a 0.880 WHIP and 12 strikeouts.

The veteran reliever has played in parts of six MLB seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays (2011), Seattle Mariners (2013-15) and Rays (2016-17). Farquhar has a career record of 7-14 with 18 saves and a 3.85 ERA in 230 games.

The White Sox 40-man roster is now at 36 after Saturday's move.