Chicago White Sox: 2021 grade for Matt Foster
Most of the Chicago White Sox pitchers were good in 2021. There were some Cy Young caliber starters, awesome bullpen arms, and a few young studs who showed exactly what they can do and are only getting better. This team has a bright future with their arms and could get even scarier if some people develop along with a big signing or two.
Unfortunately, one player who was not impressive was Matt Foster. He appeared in 37 games (no starts) where he had a 6.00 ERA, 1.436 WHIP, and 40 strikeouts over 39.0 innings. All of this accumulated to a -0.5 WAR. It was certainly not a good year for him.
It was disappointing because he was magnificent in 2020. The shortened season was very kind to him as he had an ERA under three and a record of 6-1. This accumulated a 0.7 WAR which isn’t bad for a rookie reliever in a short season. That is why the expectations of him going into 2021 were pretty high.
He didn’t pitch as much in 2021 because of the fact that he wasn’t performing. The White Sox were a playoff-bound team that didn’t have time to use someone who was struggling in high leverage situations. There were times where he was in there to figure it out but it wasn’t often. This team needed wins every night and didn’t let anyone ruin it for them easily.
2021 Final Grade: F
There are no if, and, or buts about it. Matt Foster was bad in 2021. It is hard to get an F on a team that won a division by 13 games but Foster did it. He had a negative WAR which means he negatively impacted his team.
The organization deserves some of the blame because he probably should have been in AAA all year instead of with the big club. 2021 was different than 2020 for a lot of different reasons. He has a lot of talent that simply wasn’t used the right way.
The Chicago White Sox should see a major increase in Foster’s 2022 production. Expect him to have a much better year. He should be working hard all offseason to get back to where he was in 2020. There won’t be any pressure on him either which should make things easy.
If he has to start the year in AAA, that is okay. He could see that time really help him and his progression as a pitcher. He has outstanding stuff that just needs to be controlled. Hopefully, he has a bounce-back season (he just might) because the White Sox could really use him in the pen.