Dan Jennings has been placed on the disabled list and the White Sox promoted 30-year-old rookie pitcher Junior Guerra to the majors.
Guerra pitched well in Venezuela last winter (3.46 ERA in 15 starts) and earned an invite to minor league camp with the White Sox. He has a 2.72 ERA and 66 strikeouts in 49 2/3 innings this season between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte. Prior to 2015, Guerra had pitched mostly in independent leagues since 2008.
“I was waiting for this moment for many years,” Guerra said through an interpreter. “That dream, that possibility to reach your dream, was my motivation.
“It’s a unique experience. It has been my dream my whole career. It’s surreal. It’s kind of surreal, but I’m very happy and glad to be here right now.”
Jennings -- who went on the 15-day DL with the inflammation on the left side of his neck -- has a 7.83 ERA in 22 appearances this season.
“He’s had it for a little while, so we’re just going to take care of it now and get him back on track,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.
Guerra credits the stint in Venezuela for getting his dreams back on track. He first pitched for the Atlanta Braves farm system in 2006 and then for the New York Mets. After he sat out 2009 on the restricted list, Guerra pitched for the Wichita Wingnuts of the American Association in 2011 and 2013. He played for Yucatan in 2012 and spent 2014 in Italy before he played winter ball in Venezuela.
“It’s also a nice day when somebody gets to do that and come up here and get a shot at it,” Ventura said. “It’s says a lot about what they’re doing down in the minor leagues and getting these guys going and he’s pitching the best. You want to reward that.”