BALTIMORE - No meeting necessary after all.
And just like that, both White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen and pitching coach Don Cooper defended the decision to stick with Jose Contreras in the starting rotation on Wednesday, despite his dismal 0-3 record and 8.04 ERA.
All of this coming after Tuesday's loss in which Guillen thought a meeting to discuss Contreras' immediate future in the starting rotation might have to be called.
"Not right now,'' Guillen said before Game 2 against Baltimore. "It's kind of early, even though the results aren't what we would like. Like I said last night, you cannot go by your heart and your feelings to make decisions, because you might make the wrong one. We talked to him about it, we had a conversation with him about the situation.
"Let's be honest, there haven't been too many games where you can walk lead-off guys and keep getting out of that situation, especially in this league. You have a lot of lefties out there, and good ones. Strikes, that's always been Jose's problem, when he doesn't throw his forkball for strikes that's when he gets into trouble. The velocity is there, but I don't think Jose has the confidence right now to let the ball go. That's what I see from the dugout. Maybe I'm wrong. Hopefully the next time will be better. I know he'll work on it, and then after the next start maybe we'll have a better idea on what to do.''
Cooper pointed out that Contreras' biggest problems right now are consistency with his forkball and getting out lefties. The forkball has been a pitch Contreras has been trying to find since the spring, while holding right-handed hitters to a .200 average and allowing lefties to hit .342 off of him is about executing and having a better plan of attack.
"Three starts is not enough,'' Cooper said. "But like we talked about in the case of Mike MacDougal, If there's constant failure or not sure what you're going to get or the results are not good enough, then they'll make us have to think about alternatives. We haven't thought about alternatives or discussed them. We're just discussing how can we make it better. Let's see if we can take care of that. Hopefully that will take care of everything else. But if it doesn't work, well then, it can happen to anybody. They're big boys. They know. But we haven't discussed any of that yet.''
Contreras staying put
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