The Chicago White Sox had a long list of great relievers. With studs like Garrett Crochet, Aaron Bummer, Michael Kopech, Craig Kimbrel, and Liam Hendriks amongst others, they have an elite group. Tony La Russa is still trying to find the right combination for certain situations. One of the big topics in White Sox land is the closer situation.
They have both Liam Hendriks and Craig Kimbrel who are both elite closers. They acquired Kimbrel from the Chicago Cubs at the trade deadline so some of his stats come from the first half of the season on the north side. There is one, in particular, that might blow your mind.
The White Sox have pretty much exclusively used Kimbrel in a setup role even tho he is a Hall of Fame closer. Well, that might be something that Tony La Russa considers changing based on this incredible stat. The stat is that Craig Kimbrel has a 5.59 ERA in the 8th inning and a 0.00 ERA in the 9th inning.
That is an insane stat but the White Sox might want to act on it. It might be time to at least try Kimbrel in the 9th. They can also use both Hendriks and Kimbrel in a closer role. There is no rule that says you can only use one guy in the 9th inning all season long. Kimbrel’s numbers suggest that it might be time to make this switch.
The Chicago White Sox should do what they need to do to win baseball games.
If they make the switch, they don’t have to use Hendriks as the setup man. They could still use Crochet, Bummer, and Kopech. Hendriks could always close on days that Kimbrel isn’t available. It would really help the White Sox establish some certainty in thier bullpen.
However, if they wanted to try reversing them, it may not hurt either. Hendriks has shown that he can get outs in the 8th this season as well. The possibilities of this bullpen are endless and Tony La Russa has a little more than a month to figure it out. Hopefully, whatever it is, is known by the time the postseason rolls around. If they get it figured out, there is a good chance that they make a deep run in the postseason.
The White Sox should really be concerned with getting this figured out. Their bullpen is unique this season for a few reasons. Garrett Crochet and Michael Kopech are both starters in the making. We don’t know how long they will be a part of the bullpen so they might as well take advantage of them while they can. If Kimbrel’s numbers show he should pitch in the 9th, he should pitch in the 9th.