Frankie Montas struck out seven batters in four innings on Sunday afternoon.
That was about it as far as the highlights go for the White Sox, who lost 6-0 to the Detroit Tigers in the final game of the regular season.
Montas only allowed a run and two hits but the White Sox offense was no match for Daniel Norris and four Tigers relievers, who combined on a three-hit shutout.
A White Sox team that went into February with postseason aspirations finished 76-86, good for fourth in the American League Central.
“Very disappointing,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “Absolutely. But now it's time, you go back to work and try to figure out what you're going to be doing in the future as far as guys making it to spring training, start doing that.
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“You're going into this offseason trying to get some work done.”
Not much went right for the White Sox this season.
But one area they can be pleased with is the development of some of their younger players, Montas being one of them. The hard-throwing right-hander earned an All-Star nod at Double-A Birmingham, he appeared in the Futures Game and pitched well enough in relief after his September promotion to receive two starts in the team’s final 11 games.
Montas started slow on Sunday with a pair of first-inning walks and a run allowed but picked up steam from there, striking out the side in order in the third inning.
He ended the season with a 4.80 ERA and struck out 20 batters in 15 innings. He also walked nine.
“I learned how to play at this level,” Montas said through an interpreter. “You are competing against the best. How to handle the situations and compete against the best, how to have a routine and do your best every day.”
The White Sox had a chance to see what several other young players could do at the major league level this season. They have to like what they’ve seen from Carlos Rodon, Trayce Thompson and know that the defensive capabilities of Tyler Saladino and Carlos Sanchez have value in the big leagues.
The White Sox still aren’t sure what to make of Montas, whether he’s a better fit in the rotation or out of the bullpen, where he allowed a run in eight innings. But Ventura said once Montas got comfortable on Sunday he showed the White Sox glimpses of why he can be a starter.
Ventura likes what he has seen from Montas and some of the other young White Sox.
“That's the biggest thing,” Ventura said. “You see Trayce Thompson come up here and do the things that he's done, Frankie coming up and getting in there. We do have some young guys that got up here at the end that you have a better idea about looking forward.”
The White Sox should be able to add more young talent next June through the amateur draft and international free agency. Though the White Sox and Seattle Mariners ended with identical records, the White Sox pick 10th in the amateur draft because they had a worse record than Seattle in 2014.