Who should stay in the White Sox bullpen in ’15?


Aug 31, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Zach Putnam throws a pitch against the Detroit Tigers during the eighth inning at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, I looked at what starters the Chicago White Sox should keep around for 2015, now let’s take a look at the bullpen arms that should stay, or be let go.

* Stats are as of Tuesday, Sept. 3 via ESPN.com

1. Zach Putnam
Stats —  IP: 49.1, ERA: 1.82, WHIP: 1.01, Holds: 14, Saves: 4, BB: 17, K: 41

Putnam should definitely stay. He has been one of the most productive pitchers on the White Sox, and that includes the starting rotation. Going into ’15, Putnam should be in the running for a late-inning role for the White Sox.

2. Jake Petricka
Stats —  IP: 66.0, ERA: 2.73, WHIP: 1.32, Holds: 8, Saves: 11, BB: 30, K: 50
Perticka is another reliever who who stay for ’15. Petricka has been the teams best closer, even though he was a fallback option. Depending on what moves are made, Petricka could be the opening day closer in 2015.

Aug 30, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Jake Petricka (52) throws a pitch against the Detroit Tigers during the ninth inning at U.S Cellular Field. Chicago White Sox defeat the Detroit Tigers 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

3. Javy Guerra
Stats —  IP: 38:1, ERA: 2.82, WHIP: 1.36, Holds: 6, Saves: 0, BB: 18, K: 34
While Guerra has closer experience in the past, he has not gotten the job done in pressure situations in ’14. I would expect him to be gone by the time the ’15 season arrives. He may even find himself out of baseball all together next year.

4. Matt Lindstrom
Stats —  IP: 25.2, ERA: 4.65, WHIP: 156, Holds: 0, Saves: 6, BB: 10, K: 17
Lindstrom will not be with the White Sox come ’15. He was only here in ’14 due to the fact that the team needed a veteran presence in the bullpen. Due to his declining skills, and the fact that the White Sox are looking to go younger, I doubt we will see Lindstrom next season.

5. Ronald Belisario
Stats —  IP: 60.0, ERA: 5.85, WHIP: 1.38, Holds: 8, Saves: 11, BB: 14, K: 43

Belisario is so up-and-down, that it is a toss up whether or not he comes back next year. Due to his inconsistencies, he may find himself out of a job. However, due to the fact that the team has him under control via arbitration, it wouldn’t surprise me if he returns for another season.

6. Eric Surkamp
Stats —  IP: 15.1, ERA: 6.46, WHIP: 1.43, Holds: 5, Saves: 0, BB: 7, K: 11
Surkamp should definitely be given a shot in camp next year due to the fact that he the White Sox really don’t have any other lefties in the bullpen. He was a highly touted starting pitcher prospect until he was injured. Could he be a good starter in the MLB? Maybe, but as long as he can be a fallback option for the White Sox (in the bullpen) he should at least be brought back to camp.

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7. Daniel Webb
Stats —  IP: 61.0, ERA: 3.54, WHIP: 1.44, Holds: 4, Saves: 0, BB: 37, K: 48
Webb will be back in ’15 just due to his contract status. Keep in mind the fact that he also has the ability to close in the future as well. His big problem is control, and is he ever figures that out he could be a good relief pitcher in the majors.

8. The rest
Maikel Cleto, Andre Rienzo, Taylor Thompson, Frank Francisco and Charlie Leesman should not be brought back in ’15.

The one player, who I mentioned in the previous article who could change all of this is Carlos Rodon. If the White Sox put him in the bullpen they could have a potentially dominant lefty, that would eliminate the need for Surakmp. However, their ’15 plans for Rodon are unknown.

Looking at the future of the White Sox bullpen, it has some bright spots as well as some serious holes.

Petricka, Putman and Webb all have the potential to be good in the future. However, if the team is serious about competing in ’15 they will have to go out and acquire some better quality relief pitchers.