Keynan Middleton and Gregory Santos have been a wonderful surprise in 2023

Miami Marlins v Chicago White Sox
Miami Marlins v Chicago White Sox / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages

If someone were to tell you that the White Sox's two best relievers in 2023 before the season started would be Keynan Middleton and Gregory Santos, would you of believed them? Would you of even known who they were?

Regardless of the answer, the White Sox have needed them desperately due to the underperformance of the rest of the bullpen.

Starting with Middleton, who signed a one-year deal with the White Sox, has been excellent in 2023. So much so that other teams could be interested in acquiring him before the MLB Trade Deadline hits.

Middleton has previously pitched for the Los Angeles Angels, the Seattle Mariners, and the Arizona Diamondbacks, but never has he made an impact as much as he has for the 2023 Chicago White Sox.

The Chicago White Sox have boosted their bullpen a little bit in 2023.

Middleton has a high-leverage fastball, mixed in with a knee-buckling slider, and a change-up that works effectively on both right and left-handed hitters.

In 32 innings pitched, he has an ERA+ of 141 and has struck out 41 hitters. He has gotten into a groove that he hasn't ever before in his major league career and has solidified himself as a critical leverage man in a lousy White Sox bullpen.

It would be a good option for the organization to explore trade options for Middleton, considering they could potentially get a high upside prospect in return.

Suppose they don't end up trading him. In that case, he will remain as one of the best relievers for the club and maybe even be a potential closer depending on who from the bullpen ends up getting traded. Graveman and Kelly have a high probability of getting shipped somewhere by August 1st.

As for Gregory Santos, he has arguably been even better than Middleton. Santos has a sinker that can get up to 103 miles per hour and a 90-93 slider.

This season, for the first time in his short major league career, he has been able to command all of his pitches resulting in a big breakout season for the San Cristobal, Dominican Republic native.

Santos has pitched a major league career high in innings halfway through the 2023 season at 45.2 innings pitched. He has a 1.3 WAR, a 2.76 ERA, and 44 strikeouts.

Santos is in the same position as Middleton. Considering he has overachieved, there's a chance the organization will be open to trading him for the right price. If they elect not to, Santos will be another option as a high-leverage reliever or closer for the remainder of the White Sox's season.

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