Chicago White Sox: Bullpen the bright spot during struggles

brownerik18
facebooktwitterreddit

(Editor’s note: All stats are before games on Saturday).

While the Chicago White Sox have had a rough go of it over the first month of the season, the blame certainly cannot be placed on the shoulders of the bullpen.

The relief corps for the White Sox actually rank seventh in the major leagues with a 2.86 earned run average as well as total number of runs allowed.

The reason for the team’s struggles seems to be getting the ball to those arms who trot in from the outfield every so often, as White Sox starting pitchers are at the very bottom of the American League in batting average against and rank third-to-last in ERA across all of baseball.

More from White Sox News

The much ballyhooed rotation is simply not holding up their end of the bargain and therefore makes the entire pitching staff look bad.

While fans have often criticized manager Robin Ventura‘s use of the bullpen, one can certainly argue that his management of the relievers has been his strong suit this year.

(Other than my general disdain for using closing pitchers in non-save situations, regardless of how well David Robertson has fared whether he has been asked to close the game or not, I have not had a single negative thought of his bullpen usage so far in 2015.) 

While fans have often criticized manager Robin Ventura‘s use of the bullpen, one can certainly argue that his management of the relievers has been his strong suit this year.

The willingness of general manager Rick Hahn to spend money on the back end of the bullpen has certainly paid off.

Zach Duke and Robertson have both done extremely well during their first month sporting a White Sox uniform following high expectations that come with big free agent contracts, and guys like Dan Jennings and Carlos Rodon have helped the team out of some jams. (Although word is Rodon will get to make his rotation debut tonight against the Cincinnati Reds, so let’s hope he never pitches out of the bullpen again … well, unless it’s a Mark Buehrle type of situation…)

Apr 17, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija (29) pitches in the third inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Provided the rotation gets its head out of you-know-where, this pitching staff can carry a team. All of the starting pitchers have potential to be above-average (provided Rodon stays in the rotation for Hector Noesi), as three already have all-star quality stuff in Chris Sale, Jeff Samardzija and Jose Quintana.

When, not if, this rotation turns its fortunes for the better, you will see the South Siders start to climb north in the American League Central standings, and the bullpen will be a major reason why, even if you have not noticed their feats yet.

Next: What is wrong with the White Sox rotation?

More from Southside Showdown

facebooktwitterreddit