Pitching competitive baseball this season for the first time since 2019, Norge Vera has definitely been worth the wait for the White Sox.
“There are plenty of indications that we’ve got ourselves a future starter in Norge Vera,” said Chris Getz, Chicago’s assistant general manager/director of player development. “We look forward to continuing his development.”
Signed in February for $1.5 million, Vera defected in the summer of 2019 while playing for the Cuban National Team in the Canadian-American League.
“I’ve been following the team for a couple of years because of all the Cuban players they have,” the 21-year-old Vera said through a translator. “It was something that definitely made me feel comfortable signing with this team.”
A starter at age 18 for Santiago de Cuba in the Cuban major league, Vera quickly drew comparisons to his father, former Cuban legend Norge Luis Vera.
“I started playing baseball when I was 8 years old and my dad has been my mentor,” Vera said. “He’s been the biggest influence in my life and my career. He’s been always telling me how to do stuff.”
While he was more than ready to pitch at Low-A, the 21-year-old Vera was getting started in the Dominican Summer League.
Vera made his first DSL appearance on Aug. 14. The 6-foot-4, 185-pound righthander pitched one inning and struck out the side while hitting 96-99 mph with a good breaking ball and changeup, according to Getz.
He worked a combined 2.2 innings over his next two outings and didn’t allow a hit while walking two and striking out four.
“He’s got power within how his body moves, so I can’t say that I’m too surprised with his progress,” Getz said. “We’re still getting to know him as a person and player, but all signs point to a workhorse type righthanded starter.”
— Shut down for six weeks after experiencing elbow soreness in late May, Jared Kelley had to leave his Aug. 22 start for Low-A Kannapolis with shoulder discomfort, which was laterdiagnosed as a shoulder impingement. The White Sox expected him to return this season.
— Triple-A Charlotte starter Jonathan Stiever is done for the season after suffering a lat injury during an Aug. 12 start that required surgery.