Bullpen Major Point of Concern for White Sox Moving Forward
White Sox bullpen becoming major point of concern as All-Star break is quickly approaching. South Siders bullpen has been overworked this season.
The White Sox are nearing the middle of the season looking more and more like a rebuilding team. After a promising April, May and June have not been as successful for the Boys in Black. They’ve lost 34 out of their 55 May and June games and losers of seven of their last 10.
One of the biggest contributors to the ChiSox struggles of late has without question been the bullpen. Jake Petricka and Tommy Kahnle currently have ERAs over 16.00 over the last seven days and have allowed 10 earned runs in only 5.1 innings pitched. Only Dan Jennings and Anthony Swarzak have ERA’s under 4.00. However, Jennings and David Robertson have an opposing batting average under .250 in the month of June.
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However, what’s even more concerning is what the future of the bullpen will look like for the rest of this season.
The White Sox are experiencing a severe lack of depth with injuries to both the starting rotation and the bullpen. The Sox lack of depth in the rotation forces the bullpen to pitch more innings. This causes the bullpen guys to have less rest and be more prone to strain and inflammation injuries.
The ChiSox currently have Miguel Gonzalez, Dylan Covey, Nate Jones and Petricka on the disabled list. There have been pitchers who have made their returns from the DL in James Shields, and Carlos Rodon. Recent World Baseball Classic champion Jones has been out without a timetable to return since late April.
According to CBSSports.com, Jones has been medically cleared but needs to throw without pain, throw off a mound, pitch against live hitters and have his rehab assignment before returning. The White Sox also recently placed Zach Putnam on the 60-day disabled list and he will undergo Tommy John surgery, which is another huge blow to the team.
The Sox are also struggling with player depth, having only one left-handed pitcher in the bullpen, which is a nightmare for the coaching staff if they want to play matchups. Also, one of the players that has been heavily involved in Sox trade talks has been one of the best bullpen pitchers that the Sox have.
Robertson has been performing well for the Sox this season and has caught the eyes of scouts of a few teams, mainly drawing interest from the Washington Nationals. Not to mention the interest that starting pitcher Jose Quintana has drawn from many teams (Astros, Dodgers Nationals, Braves, Yankees) lately with his stellar June.
Altogether, the loss of Jones, Putnam and the potential deals for both Robertson and Quintana spells disaster for an already-depleted bullpen. Injuries have plagued the Sox pitching staff and the replacements have been less than rewarding. The only silver-lining in the seemingly dark outlook of the bullpen is that it opens the door for other players to fill in the missing pieces, mainly prospects and maybe even the team’s top prospects.
Next: Will Kevan Smith Continue Improving for White Sox?
With a rough stretch of games coming up before the All-Star break, it could be that special time that most were expecting where the organization begins to embrace the process and embrace the tank.