Breakdown: The End Of Jose?

Lucian ChaseContributor IApril 16, 2009

ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 13:  Pitcher Jose Contreras #52 of the Chicago White Sox throws against the Texas Rangers in the first inning on July 13, 2008 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Yesterday, I posted what turned out to be an ill-fated article on what appeared to be a resurgent and resiliant Jose Contreras.

In his third inning of work, I watched him put a man on second and third with no outs and proceed to get out of this jam with ease and style. Alas, this would be the end of an impressive outing and a seemingly miraculous comeback from a potentially career-ending injury.

After leaving the game in the sixth, his line read 5.1 innings, 5 ER, 2 BB.

So, was this a one-off?

Unfortunately not. Lets take a look at his last five starts (dating back to 2008) and including yesterday:

5.1 innings, 5 ER, 2 BB - Loss

5 innings, 4 ER, 2 BB - Loss

4 innings, 7 ER, 2 BB - No Decision

5.2 innings, 5 ER, 1 BB - No Decision

6 innings, 3 ER, 4 BB - Won

This totals a 1-2 record with an 8.30 ERA. With no real sign of improvement since his return from injury, Ozzie Guillen can't risk throwing away any more starts in the intense marathon that is the AL Central.

So what is the best move for the Sox? Well, a strong first three innings Wednesday showed a ray of hope that could shine on the bullpen.

Perhaps not.

Over the same last five starts, Jose has an ERA of 7.20 through the first two innings of work. Not exactly relief material.

As sad as it is to say, about a man that played a key role in the 2005 World Series triumph, a man who still holds the White Sox all-time record for most consecutive victories, the time has come for Ozzie and the Sox to part company with Jose Contreras.