One day during spring training, Aaron Bummer told Chicago White Sox manager Rick Renteria he was impressed with teammates Michael Kopech, Dylan Cease and Dane Dunning while watching them throw in the bullpen.
Renteria responded with a compliment for Bummer.
"I said, 'Man, I wouldn't want to sit in the (batter's) box with you pitching,' " Renteria said in early March. "He's got stuff that could put you back on your heels. He can get a lot of ground balls for us in big situations."
Bummer is one of the top bullpen options for the Sox. The 26-year-old left-hander had a strong spring with five strikeouts and two walks in 4? hitless innings. And then baseball went on pause because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Bummer is now gearing up for the 60-game season at summer camp.
"I want to be ready to go every day," Bummer said Thursday. "A lot of relievers pride themselves on that, to be ready to go each and every day. If it's three outs, two outs, two innings, whatever it is, I want to do as much as I can to help my ballclub win.
"I want to go out there and do my job as much as I can and hopefully help us get as many wins as we can. I've prepared myself this offseason, during the quarantine, expecting that. Expecting to be able to go as much as I can for as long as I can for the duration of the season."
The Sox mostly used Bummer as a setup man in 2019. He finished with a 2.13 ERA, one save, 27 holds, 60 strikeouts and a 0.99 WHIP in 58 appearances.
He took a lot away from the year.
"Just having the confidence that my stuff is going to play, and it doesn't have to be any better," Bummer said in March. "It doesn't have to be perfect. I just have to have faith in my ability.