More on the return of Jose
It’s hard not too root for a guy like Jose Contreras, who made such a triumphant return from early season struggles by giving up just one hit over eight innings during the White Sox 6-1 victory over the Tigers in the nightcap of Monday’s doubleheader. Contreras is one of the more affable individuals you could hope to meet, inside or outside of the world of baseball.
So, there was Contreras, holding his 13-month-old son, Joseph, while taking postgame questions from the media. Both Contreras’ men had smiles on their respective faces, but only one of them was grabbing the microphone held by Comcast SportsNet reporter Chuck Garfein. Here’s a little hint: it was not Jose.
Contreras said that he worked on his mechanics during a five-start stint with Triple-A Charlotte. But most of all, he built up his arm strength a little further and regained the confidence that was basically knocked from him during his first six big league starts at the season’s outset.
The big right-hander even showed his nimbleness on the mound, by making a behind-the-back glove save of Ramon Santiago’s second-inning grounder and easily throwing him out at first. Contreras then showed his self-deprecating humor after the game.
“I didn’t catch it. The ball caught me,” said Contreras of the play, through interpreter Ozzie Guillen, Jr., drawing big laughs fromt the media.
“Physically I felt strong,” added Contreras of his rough start to the 2009 campaign. “But maybe the pitching and the pitch counts in Triple-A made up for the pitches I didn’t have in Spring Training. Physically I was fine, but the consistency of getting reps in was the big difference.”
Where does the rotation stand after Contreras’ start?
I have to believe that Bartolo Colon is going to be the odd man out, although Guillen certainly wouldn’t commit to anything Monday night. The White Sox are not going to a six-man rotation and both Clayton Richard and Contreras deserve to trot out there every five days.