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View Full Version : Thornton a closer?


White_Sock
03-30-2007, 10:03 PM
Is there any chance Thornton could close for the Sox this year? I know he's a lefty and all, but the guy has been our best pitcher of ST with a 0.90 ERA. Lights out! He is k-ing batters left and right. I ask this also because he closed today after a Jenks setup. Could it be? Might be nice...

FedEx227
03-30-2007, 10:06 PM
I have to believe MacDougal will be first in line if anything goes wrong with Jenks, based on experience alone.

WhiteSox5187
03-30-2007, 11:06 PM
I could see either MacDougal or Thornton closing out games. But I'm not going to give either one of 'em a shot unless Jenks gets hurt or is getting hit like Shingo circa 2005 (speaking of which, what happened to Shingo??)...but either one of them could do in a pinch. I hope it doesn't come to that and it sounds like Jenks is getting his fastball back, it was hitting ninety five last I heard and he's throwing strikes which is a good sign.

oeo
03-30-2007, 11:29 PM
What has Jenks done to lose his job? :?:

WhiteSox5187
03-30-2007, 11:36 PM
What has Jenks done to lose his job? :?:
Nothing, but I think the question is, should he go down or start getting shelled, can Thornton take his place? But for now and probably for the foreseeable future, Jenks is our man.

oeo
03-30-2007, 11:51 PM
Nothing, but I think the question is, should he go down or start getting shelled, can Thornton take his place? But for now and probably for the foreseeable future, Jenks is our man.

I ask this also because he closed today after a Jenks setup. Could it be? Might be nice...Sounds to me that he thinks Jenks is losing his job...

White_Sock
03-30-2007, 11:56 PM
Nothing, but I think the question is, should he go down or start getting shelled, can Thornton take his place? But for now and probably for the foreseeable future, Jenks is our man.

This is not actually what I meant in full. - Here's my logic. A closer needs to be lights out. Period. Thornton is, Jenks is not right now. On one hand, Jenks is probably saving his power for the regular season; I'll give you that. On the other hand, Jenks' power could be fading (not too likely), but if it is, and if Jenks continues to perform at a mediocre level into the regular season, then Thornton should be the man because he is lights out like a closer should be.

My other point was that Ozzie is obviosly somewhat interested in what Thornton can do in a closer's role because he made Thornton close today in a one-run game, while Jenks set up in the 8th. If Ozzie thinks, at all, that Jenks doesn't have the stuff any more (the lights out stuff), then he could lose his closing job to a guy like Thornton, who is really really impressive right now.

sullythered
03-31-2007, 12:09 AM
Bobby Jenks is our closer. I think it's hillarious that, during spring training, no one ever remembers spring trainings from the past. Bobby Jenks has thrown HARDER during this spring than he did last year. Most power pitchers (except Zumaya) never let loose during the meaningless games. Plus Jenks was FINALLY featuring that sick change today that I've been hearing so much about.

Thorton is a nice pitcher, but his stuff is not Bobby's.

ondafarm
03-31-2007, 12:26 AM
I think in keeping with the Sox policy of having more than one guy capable of doing every essential task on the roster. As for closing, Jenks is our closer, Thornton and McDougal stand ready to step in should a problem arise.

Ron Karkovice
03-31-2007, 01:41 AM
Was Thorton strictly a reliever when he was in the Mariners system?

DMarte708
03-31-2007, 02:56 AM
I've read several columns in the past from writers within the sabermetric crowd who suggest a closer should be brought in during crucial game moments, whatever late inning it may be, rather than the 9th when (a high percentage) of relievers can effectively close the game.

This, obviously, is not taken into consideration by major league teams. While statistics may indicate as much, it takes a certain pitcher to close games. A certain mentality. It's true when people say they're the three toughest outs in the game.

I hate to sound like Harrelson describing intangibles and such, but even if Thornton is absolutely lights out during the season and Jenks is struggling, I'd rather give MacDougal the opportunity first.

IlliniSox4Life
03-31-2007, 03:27 AM
Was Thorton strictly a reliever when he was in the Mariners system?

I may be wrong, but I think he was originally a starter.

And as far as making him the closer, Thornton can't win it. Jenks has to lose the job. And by lose I mean he has to be so bad for a long enough time which is something none of us want to see. Bobby stepped into the closer roll and has been pretty much lights out for us. Don't forget last spring training when Bobby was awful and came back and was fighting Papelbon all year for the saves lead.

WhiteSox5187
03-31-2007, 03:55 AM
This is not actually what I meant in full. - Here's my logic. A closer needs to be lights out. Period. Thornton is, Jenks is not right now. On one hand, Jenks is probably saving his power for the regular season; I'll give you that. On the other hand, Jenks' power could be fading (not too likely), but if it is, and if Jenks continues to perform at a mediocre level into the regular season, then Thornton should be the man because he is lights out like a closer should be.

My other point was that Ozzie is obviosly somewhat interested in what Thornton can do in a closer's role because he made Thornton close today in a one-run game, while Jenks set up in the 8th. If Ozzie thinks, at all, that Jenks doesn't have the stuff any more (the lights out stuff), then he could lose his closing job to a guy like Thornton, who is really really impressive right now.
I'm not going to panic that Jenks wasn't lights out in ST. Nobody was lights out. Jenks is our man. As someone said, Thornton can't win this job, but Jenks can lose it and if Jenks loses it, we're in trouble. Jenks is going to be fine. His velocity is up and as you said, he's got that change working (along with that nasty nasty curve). Let's playball!

IndianWhiteSox
03-31-2007, 06:15 AM
I may be wrong, but I think he was originally a starter.

And as far as making him the closer, Thornton can't win it. Jenks has to lose the job. And by lose I mean he has to be so bad for a long enough time which is something none of us want to see. Bobby stepped into the closer roll and has been pretty much lights out for us. Don't forget last spring training when Bobby was awful and came back and was fighting Papelbon all year for the saves lead.

Thank you, if anything I wouldn't be surprised to see Thornton emerge as the 5th starter shutting teams down if most of out other options fail. I really don't see Thornton replacing Jenks, maybe MacDougal or Masset if god forbid, Jenks goes down or just loses it.

goofymsfan
03-31-2007, 06:17 AM
I may be wrong, but I think he was originally a starter.

And as far as making him the closer, Thornton can't win it. Jenks has to lose the job. And by lose I mean he has to be so bad for a long enough time which is something none of us want to see. Bobby stepped into the closer roll and has been pretty much lights out for us. Don't forget last spring training when Bobby was awful and came back and was fighting Papelbon all year for the saves lead.

Matt was originally a starter in the M's system. He is better suited to a reliever roll however because he could only go about 5 innings before being shelled on a good day.

mrwag
03-31-2007, 11:08 AM
Matt was originally a starter in the M's system. He is better suited to a reliever roll however because he could only go about 5 innings before being shelled on a good day.

Hmm.. that reminds me of someone else on our starting rotation.:tongue:

FedEx227
03-31-2007, 11:12 AM
Matt was originally a starter in the M's system. He is better suited to a reliever roll however because he could only go about 5 innings before being shelled on a good day.

Plus his pitch selection doesn't really scream starter.

UserNameBlank
03-31-2007, 12:54 PM
Jenks got someone on a wicked changeup yesterday. If he mixes that in with his curve and slider... wow. Jenks = 40+ saves again. Also he was at 94-95 with his fastball. He appears to be right on track.

MRM
03-31-2007, 08:32 PM
My other point was that Ozzie is obviosly somewhat interested in what Thornton can do in a closer's role because he made Thornton close today in a one-run game, while Jenks set up in the 8th.

Don't read anything into when in the game they were used. Jenks also started a game a week or two back...I don't think Ozzie has any designs on adding him to the rotation any time soon, either. :D:

MRM
03-31-2007, 08:37 PM
Matt was originally a starter in the M's system. He is better suited to a reliever roll however because he could only go about 5 innings before being shelled on a good day.

Actually he lost the starting role and eventually the M's gave up on him entirely because he had major control problems. His stuff was always lights out but you never knew when he was going to walk 3 out of 5 hitters he faced. The M's were going to release him, just as the Sox were going to release Borchard last year. Cooper had made himself a note the last time he had seen Thornton that said "I can fix him", thus the deal was done and thus far, Coop was right.

TomBradley72
03-31-2007, 08:44 PM
Thornton is looking VERY good right now. The control problems that plagued him in Seattle have disappeared...and his breaking stuff is much more consistent. I could see him as the closer on nights where Jenks has closed the previous two games or in a situation where the last out or two are lefties.

But Jenks is still the main closer.

eriqjaffe
03-31-2007, 11:45 PM
speaking of which, what happened to Shingo??Shingo is back with the Yakult Swallows.

http://www.asahi.com/english/Herald-asahi/TKY200703240108.html

Last year, if I'm reading his official page (http://www.yakult-swallows.co.jp/players/22_takatsu.html) right, he went 1-2 with 13 saves and a 2.74 ERA in 48 games.

As an aside, he's on the same staff as former Dodger/Met Kaz Ishii (http://www.yakult-swallows.co.jp/players/16_ishii.html).

chitownhawkfan
04-01-2007, 04:43 AM
Apparently Ozzie has been saying that he will use Thornton in the ninth when the lineup is stacked with lefties.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/cs-070331soxbits,1,5844090.story?coll=chi-sportsnew-hed

But how can you worry about Jenks, he has done nothing but dominate.

White_Sock
04-01-2007, 11:40 AM
Apparently Ozzie has been saying that he will use Thornton in the ninth when the lineup is stacked with lefties.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/cs-070331soxbits,1,5844090.story?coll=chi-sportsnew-hed

But how can you worry about Jenks, he has done nothing but dominate.

I really am not worried about Jenks, but even if Jenks stunk it up, I still wouldn't worry because we have Thornton.

goofymsfan
04-01-2007, 06:47 PM
Actually he lost the starting role and eventually the M's gave up on him entirely because he had major control problems. His stuff was always lights out but you never knew when he was going to walk 3 out of 5 hitters he faced. The M's were going to release him, just as the Sox were going to release Borchard last year. Cooper had made himself a note the last time he had seen Thornton that said "I can fix him", thus the deal was done and thus far, Coop was right.

Yes I know this. I used to watch him in Tacoma and also in Seattle. He also used to get shelled. I'm glad he is doing well with the Sox.