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View Full Version : Could Santos be our closer-of-the-future?


Harry Chappas
04-16-2010, 09:24 AM
I know it is WAY early, but he has impressed the hell out of me. I didn't see him pitch in spring training, so I anticipated a guy who threw it hard with little idea where it was going to go. I was shocked when I saw his debut and he was throwing nasty off-speed stuff...for strikes. So far, in 4 innings, he has given up 1 hit and has 7 strikeouts. But what is more impressive is that he has only walked 1. His mound presence is that of a veteran pitcher, not a guy a year removed from SS.

Again, I know the sample size is too small to draw any meaningful conclusions, but the fact that he actually has 3 pitches has me excited about the future (and present).

Here's something else that caught my eye; while the Sox lost last night, the pitchers had 15 strikeouts. Furthermore, the bullpen gave up just 4 hits after the Sweaty one got lit up. If/when the real Peavy shows up, we won't need to score that much to win.

My enthusiasm is somewhat tempered by what happened a few years ago when, early in the year Joe Morgan, declared our bullpen the best in history.

jabrch
04-16-2010, 10:05 AM
He and Thornton both have that capability.

Moses_Scurry
04-16-2010, 10:09 AM
I know it is WAY early, but he has impressed the hell out of me. I didn't see him pitch in spring training, so I anticipated a guy who threw it hard with little idea where it was going to go. I was shocked when I saw his debut and he was throwing nasty off-speed stuff...for strikes. So far, in 4 innings, he has given up 1 hit and has 7 strikeouts. But what is more impressive is that he has only walked 1. His mound presence is that of a veteran pitcher, not a guy a year removed from SS.

Again, I know the sample size is too small to draw any meaningful conclusions, but the fact that he actually has 3 pitches has me excited about the future (and present).

Here's something else that caught my eye; while the Sox lost last night, the pitchers had 15 strikeouts. Furthermore, the bullpen gave up just 4 hits after the Sweaty one got lit up. If/when the real Peavy shows up, we won't need to score that much to win.

My enthusiasm is somewhat tempered by what happened a few years ago when, early in the year Joe Morgan, declared our bullpen the best in history.

I'm just hoping he can put in an '05 Politte or Cotts-type year. Closer is too far ahead. Aardsma started out pretty strong, if I recall.

Harry Chappas
04-16-2010, 10:15 AM
I'm just hoping he can put in an '05 Politte or Cotts-type year. Closer is too far ahead. Aardsma started out pretty strong, if I recall.

Aardsma was exactly who I thought of when I referenced the "best bullpen in history." But Aarsdma really was one dimensional. Santos has some nasty off-speed stuff - kind of like Jenks when he was mixing his curve with high 90s fastballs.

Maybe I'm looking for positives in what has, so far, been a frustrating couple of weeks.

JimmyJames
04-16-2010, 10:20 AM
I was fortunate enough to be at that Indians game where he debuted and we got to move down to 3 rows behind the scout seats just in time to see him pitch. I also thought he had good stuff and looked like he was hitting his spots. Seeing him pitch in the Toronto series also got my hopes up. I think it remains to be seen if he has closer-type mentality but I think the foundation is there.

Boondock Saint
04-16-2010, 10:30 AM
He and Thornton both have that capability.

Don't forget Putz. Santos is killing it right now, but even if he were to get a shot at the closer role, I think that both Putz and Thornton (in that order) would get a shot at it first.

In a year or two, if he keeps this up, he can certainly be that guy.

russ99
04-16-2010, 10:37 AM
Aardsma was exactly who I thought of when I referenced the "best bullpen in history." But Aarsdma really was one dimensional.

Yep, Aardsma is one-dimensional enough to close for the Mariners.

He's the poster boy for Sox-fanbase overreaction. One homer in Detroit and he's deemed useless.

I can also point to Mr. Linebrink as to how a bullpen is a mystery. One year a guy could be a hero, the next a bum, then a hero again.

veeter
04-16-2010, 10:42 AM
What stands out with Santos up to this point, is his command. It's way early, but his confidence should only grow. Jenks was a Kenny coup, I think Santos is too.

Boondock Saint
04-16-2010, 10:43 AM
Yep, Aardsma is one-dimensional enough to close for the Mariners.

He's the poster boy for Sox-fanbase overreaction. One homer in Detroit and he's deemed useless.

I can also point to Mr. Linebrink as to how a bullpen is a mystery. One year a guy could be a hero, the next a bum, then a hero again.

Huh? How about a 6.40 ERA while he was here? Or his 1.732 WHIP? Or the 5.55 ERA and 1.726 WHIP the year after? The man was awful.

WizardsofOzzie
04-16-2010, 10:48 AM
He's the poster boy for Sox-fanbase overreaction. One homer in Detroit and he's deemed useless.

I wouldn't say it was one homer that caused the reaction he got. Maybe the fact that he allowed 16 runs over seven innings before being demoted and then had a lackluster 4.33 ERA in AAA ball

veeter
04-16-2010, 10:49 AM
Huh? How about a 6.40 ERA while he was here? Or his 1.732 WHIP? Or the 5.55 ERA and 1.726 WHIP the year after? The man was awful.Got to agree with Boondock on this one. There's a reason he's been on a lot of teams: no control. Falls behind almost evey hitter, then gets lit up. But has the arm to dazzle at times. He's like the cubs Jeff Szmargahjfhdifdsoi. I'll give him his one good year on Seattle though.

Randar68
04-16-2010, 10:59 AM
I know it is WAY early, but he has impressed the hell out of me. I didn't see him pitch in spring training, so I anticipated a guy who threw it hard with little idea where it was going to go. I was shocked when I saw his debut and he was throwing nasty off-speed stuff...for strikes. So far, in 4 innings, he has given up 1 hit and has 7 strikeouts. But what is more impressive is that he has only walked 1. His mound presence is that of a veteran pitcher, not a guy a year removed from SS.

Let's see him do it for a year or 2. Gotta see him get through the league a couple of times and still be having this success, but I love the way he works quickly and throws strikes.

tstrike2000
04-16-2010, 11:12 AM
If Santos can maintain that mix of mid-90's fastball with that biting curve and great straight change, he could be an elite closer for a long time. I love the potential now though of having him as a setup guy who can stop rally's and momentum in the later innings.

TDog
04-16-2010, 11:52 AM
There are teams who would use Santos as a closer right now, or at least when their designated closer goes down. The Twins might not because they looked for more experience in selecting their replacement for Nathan. The A's probably wouldn't because they marketed Bailey as a star during the off-season. Or maybe they would. Baily wasn't really a great closer last year when he didn't have a three-run lead, and the last I looked, he wasn't leading the A's in saves this season. Certainly, this year's Santos on last year's A's would have been closing games.

Often teams will select a young pitcher with little or no major-league experience to be their closer because he has such great stuff. The A's did it with Bailey, who had been an unspectacular minor league starter. The Sox did it with Jenks, who was probably groomed for the role, as was Wilson with the Giants.

That isn't to say the Sox should designate Santos or even Jenks as their closer. The idea of a closer, unless you are talking about Gossage or Eckersley or Hoffman or some such in their prime, is really overrated. (Looking at Hoffman now sort of underscores that point.) The Sox are better off going with either Thornton or Jenks, depending on the matchups. People are down on Jenks, but the last I looked, Thornton led the Sox in blown saves.

I'm guessing Santos will get his chance to close at least one or two games this season. They may be extra-inning games where he remains available while others aren't. They may be games were others in the bullpen are exceedingly overworked.

There is nothing wrong with the Sox having four guys in the bullpen (including Putz in the mix) who can close games if needed.

guillensdisciple
04-16-2010, 12:33 PM
Potential, absolutely, is now the time? Absolutely not. Jenks is not bad folks, he's still one of the best closers in the major leagues. Let's run with what we have and be happy with it

Craig Grebeck
04-16-2010, 12:43 PM
Potential, absolutely, is now the time? Absolutely not. Jenks is not bad folks, he's still one of the best closers in the major leagues. Let's run with what we have and be happy with it
Jenks is not that good. Acceptable -- yes, but we should look to trade or non-tender him this offseason.

khan
04-16-2010, 12:55 PM
Yes, it is WAAAAAAYYYYYYYY too early to discuss this.


For that matter, let's re-visit this thread once Santos has gone through the league more than once. If he continues to produce, then GREAT: We can logically have a discussion as to whether or not he's the "closer-of-the-future."

If the rest of the league figures him out by then, well, he can join a huge list of pitchers that never really had it. Until then, let's just enjoy his early returns, and cheer him on to bring us more...

Harry Chappas
04-16-2010, 01:38 PM
Yes, it is WAAAAAAYYYYYYYY too early to discuss this.


For that matter, let's re-visit this thread once Santos has gone through the league more than once. If he continues to produce, then GREAT: We can logically have a discussion as to whether or not he's the "closer-of-the-future."

If the rest of the league figures him out by then, well, he can join a huge list of pitchers that never really had it. Until then, let's just enjoy his early returns, and cheer him on to bring us more...

It would be too early to declare him a star-in-the-making and argue that he should be our closer today, but thinking ahead is fair game, IMO.

I put lots of caveats in my original post but feel free to let me know when it is okay to "logically" discuss.

Tragg
04-16-2010, 01:55 PM
Jenks is not that good. Acceptable -- yes, but we should look to trade or non-tender him this offseason.
I think he's better than acceptable.
But if we're out of it in July, we need to dress up he and Putz as best we can and get something for them. Because pitchers do bring bounty in July....hitters often don't,
That's if.
HOpefully we'll contend.

guillensdisciple
04-16-2010, 02:01 PM
Jenks is not that good. Acceptable -- yes, but we should look to trade or non-tender him this offseason.

Give me ten other closers that you would rather have than Bobby. The guy has not been that bad.

Craig Grebeck
04-16-2010, 02:04 PM
Give me ten other closers that you would rather have than Bobby. The guy has not been that bad.
I'm not going to compare him to other closers, as I think that's pretty irrelevant. I feel there are other pitchers in the organization that can produce like him for far less money -- allowing us to use that money more efficiently.

asindc
04-16-2010, 02:09 PM
I'm not going to compare him to other closers, as I think that's pretty irrelevant. I feel there are other pitchers in the organization that can produce like him for far less money -- allowing us to use that money more efficiently.

That actually might be true at this point. I expect a better year from Bobby this season than last, mainly because I think he got complacent the past couple of years and now he seems to be aware of that. But he is not a clear cut above Thornton at this point, and maybe not even Putz or Santos if what they have shown so far will be the norm.

guillensdisciple
04-16-2010, 02:10 PM
Without bias I actually agree with you, I just like bobby

jabrch
04-16-2010, 02:14 PM
Without bias I actually agree with you, I just like bobby

Aside to the top 2 or 3 closers, it seems teams that have good ones don't appreciate them and teams that don't have them always want them.

I guarantee that if we didn't have a Jenks type guy in this spot, and went cheap, and had issues with that guy, the bellyachers would be all over how cheap and stupid KW/JR/OG are for going with an unproven closer.

TDog
04-16-2010, 02:33 PM
Aside to the top 2 or 3 closers, it seems teams that have good ones don't appreciate them and teams that don't have them always want them. ...

The third dynamic is the team that doesn't have a great one, but their fans believe he is, despite evidence to the contrary.

That might be unique to Oakland, chiefly because the older fans remember Dennis Eckersley (and they hang a banner with his best ERA year outside the stadium) and the current general manager considers closers disposable and easy to replace.

I think the problem is the closer mentality. Certainly your relievers who finish games have to have the fortitude to get those final needed outs, but designating one pitcher to finish winning games is not in the best interest of many major league teams.

jabrch
04-16-2010, 03:05 PM
The third dynamic is the team that doesn't have a great one, but their fans believe he is, despite evidence to the contrary.

That might be unique to Oakland, chiefly because the older fans remember Dennis Eckersley (and they hang a banner with his best ERA year outside the stadium) and the current general manager considers closers disposable and easy to replace.

I think the problem is the closer mentality. Certainly your relievers who finish games have to have the fortitude to get those final needed outs, but designating one pitcher to finish winning games is not in the best interest of many major league teams.

That's debateable. Specialization has its advantages. I'm not saying you are wrong - I'm saying it is debateable. If you have a ****ty closer, there is no harm in having multiple ****ty closers, maybe some of whom would be more specialized in that role - but the problem is that your bullpen/roster can't likely support that.

There's a reason that (I think) every team has a named closer who does that job. Setting roles in a pen makes it easier for each to do their role. Now does that result in some bad closers being paid too much for a few saves and disregarding their BS or their ERA or WHIP? Sure - but this isn't the case for the Sox.

Starters don't average 7+IP per start anymore - so pens need to pitch ~500 innings. It's best to have one stud, and have him in the biggest situations (usually the save situation) and let him settle there. If all your guys are equal, and you don't believe one is better - then cool. Now I know you then have setup situations that are also cricitcal - and if you don't get past them, you don't get to your clsoers - and that's why teams put their 2nd and third best in the LH set up and RH set up roles...it just makes sense.

As far as Oakland, that is not a model I would ever want to emulate. If not for Steroids, that franchise would have been amongst the worst in baseball and may well have been contracted a long time ago. Between the performance of the steroid users, and what they traded them for...and the trickle-down thereof...up til the recent sub-.500 version of this franchise, it is a crappy model despite their steroid aided results.

HomeFish
04-16-2010, 03:38 PM
If the Sox are out of it at the deadline, I hope that at least one GM overrates Bobby Jenks even half as much as WSI does.

pythons007
04-16-2010, 04:15 PM
If the Sox are out of it at the deadline, I hope that at least one GM overrates Bobby Jenks even half as much as WSI does.

Currently Bobby is 10th in saves for actives closers. Behind
Hoffman 594
Rivera 530
Wagner 386
F. Rodriguez (king of the cheap save) 243
Lidge 195
Valverde 169
Fuentes 164
Paplebon 154
Jenks 148

He's reliable, I just don't get it. Does anyone remember Koch, Shingo, Hermansen? I can't believe all the **** talking going on with Bobby.

When he first came in people bitched that all he did was throw the ball as hard as he could without knowing where it was going.

Then people bitched when he dialed it down a bit and was hitting his spots complaining he wasn't striking anyone out.

He's a very good closer. Is he the best? No. Is he the worst? Hell no. However, he is in the top ten, easy.

People trying to trade him away, I don't get it. Good closers don't grow on trees! If Bobby has a year like last year, he'll be top 50 in saves, and he's only being doing it for 5 years!

There are teams out there that are begging for a consistant closer. Look at the Indians for the last couple years! Wickman, Borowski, Wood, Perez...its a revolving door!!

Bobby Jenks is reliable, 30-40 saves are in the book.

HomeFish
04-16-2010, 04:23 PM
Bobby Jenks was a very good closer for much of his career. His career stats reflect this. However his skills have diminished over time.

hawkjt
04-17-2010, 12:29 PM
Just heard Ranger interview Santos on White Sox Weekly...seems like a very articulate,and grounded young man....liked him a lot.
Grew up in California, both parents came from Mexico, he and his two brothers were born in Ca...both brothers graduated from UCLA, and one graduated from Georgetown Law School. Sounds like the all american dream story for immigrants. Go Sergio!!

soxlady8
04-18-2010, 02:25 PM
I am not sure if he is the closer of the future .
It might be too soon to tell --

He does have some wicked stuff and has truly been beneficial
in the pen thusfar !

khan
05-11-2010, 05:10 PM
It would be too early to declare him a star-in-the-making and argue that he should be our closer today, but thinking ahead is fair game, IMO.

I put lots of caveats in my original post but feel free to let me know when it is okay to "logically" discuss.

You asked, so I'll respond:

It is time to consider Santos as the closer. I am not 100% comfortable with the idea, but Jenks looks like he just might be finitu.

doublem23
05-11-2010, 05:19 PM
The only thing that scares me about putting Sergio in the closer's role so soon is that I'm not 100% sure how much of his amazing success can be attributed to the fact that nobody has any tape on the kid. Seriously, he had a whole 28 IP (or there abouts) in the minors last year before exploding on the scene with the Sox this year. So I'd like to see him mow down batters for a little while longer before I consider him our go-to closer to be. We know Putz can close, may as well try him first (if indeed Bobby gets demoted) and let Santos continue to build confidence and we can see what happens once guys start getting a read on him.

That said, everytime I worry about Sergio, I watch him pitch and am just blown away by the velocity and life on his pitches. This kid is amazing.

pythons007
05-11-2010, 06:07 PM
Before anyone proclaims him the closer of the future I want to see how he handles a terrible inning. He's given up 1 run so far this year that's not sustainable.

Let him get lit up once (it happens to every good RP) and see how he responds to it. If he handles that well give him more time in the 6th and 7th innings.

Then next year if the sox don't sign Bobby they have potential options in Thornton Santos and if they reup Putz.

He needs at least 1 full season before thrown in as the closer.

cards press box
05-11-2010, 06:09 PM
What stands out with Santos up to this point, is his command. It's way early, but his confidence should only grow. Jenks was a Kenny coup, I think Santos is too.

I agree and I think Santos will be the Sox closer perhaps later this summer but probably by next year.