Savery Signs With South Siders
On November 18, the Chicago White Sox made a splash into the free agent market with the signing of LHP Zach Duke. After a solid 2014 season with the Brewers (5-1 with a 2.45 ERA), Duke signed on with the South Siders for three years. With Duke, the White Sox get a solid left-handed option out of the pen. He also struck-out a remarkable 74 batters in 58.2 IP last season for the Brew Crew.
Two days later, the White Sox added another lefty reliever — this time on a Minor League contract.
Joe Savery — a former Philadelphia Phillies farmhand — signed a Minor League deal with the White Sox on November 20. A product of Rice University, Savery spent the majority of the 2014 season with Triple-A Sacramento. In 43 games, the 29-year-old southpaw posted a 7-1 mark with a 2.84 ERA and two saves. He also made three appearances in Oakland with the A’s and gave up just three hits over four shutout innings.
Drafted by the Phillies in the first round (19th overall) in the 2007 draft, Savery made his professional debut with the Williamsport Crosscutters (A) in 2007 and posted a 2-3 record with a 2.73 ERA in seven starts. That Williamsport team also featured 2014 Charlotte Knights slugger Michael Taylor, who was also taken by the Phillies in the 2007 draft (5th round). Both Savery and Taylor would play on a number of the same teams over the next few years in the Philadelphia organization, as well as in the A’s system (2014 with Sacramento).
The 2009 season was a solid one for Savery — who compiled a 16-6 record with a 4.40 ERA combined over 28 games with Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley. A year later, he spent the entire campaign with Triple-A Lehigh Valley and began to show off his hitting skills. He posted just a 1-12 mark with a 4.66 ERA on the mound, but he hit .348 (16-for-46) with one home run and six RBIs for the ‘Pigs in 36 games that season. The Houston, TX native then spent the offseason transitioning to a hitter — and the following season (2011), he made a brief transition to hitting full-time.
That season (’11), Savery went down to Clearwater (A+) and hit .307 (63-for-205) in 54 games — including 12 games in left field and nine at first base. He scored 22 runs, hit nine doubles, three triples, two home runs, and drove home 25 runs for the Threshers.
After a successful stint, he was then promoted to Reading that season and hit just .200 with one home run and six RBIs in 19 games. He also pitched for the R-Phils, however, this time as a reliever. He put up a 1-0 record with a 1.00 ERA in six games, which earned him a chance to go back to Lehigh Valley, where he continued to dominate out of the ‘pen — going 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in 18 games.
On a side note — I was the Media Relations Director for the R-Phils in 2011 and saw Savery hit and pitch up close that year. He was dominating on the mound in six games, four of which came at FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading, PA. In his last outing (July 11, 2011), he fanned three batters in an inning — allowing just one hit.
His successful transition back to pitching — and into the bullpen — led him to Philadelphia, where he made his Major League debut with the Phillies on September 20, 2011. He did not allow a run in four games with the Phils that year.
The next two seasons, Savery split time with the Phillies and Lehigh Valley. He had more success on the mound in 2013 than in 2012 — posting solid numbers with both the Phillies and IronPigs that year. He went 3-1 with a 3.80 ERA and two saves in 20 games for the IronPigs and 2-0 with a 3.15 ERA in 18 games for the Phillies. Despite the solid numbers, Savery was designated for assignment by the Phillies on February 16, 2014. A day later, he was claimed by the A’s and shined in their system last season.
Now, Savery is in the White Sox system after signing that Minor League deal. His former manager — Mark Parent — is the bench coach for the White Sox. Parent managed Savery briefly in 2011 with Reading when the former Rice star struck-out 14 batters over nine good innings.
In eight Minor League seasons, Savery owns a 44-34 record with a 3.97 ERA and eight saves over 584.2 innings pitched. He’s also 3-2 with a 3.83 ERA in 44 games at the Major League level in parts of four seasons.