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View Full Version : I like how this bullpen plan is working


soxinem1
04-08-2007, 05:53 AM
Sure it's only four games into the season, but even as FOX noted yesterday, the White Sox throw some serious stuff at you once the relief corps enters the game. Even in the first two games they lost, the bullpen did some nice work.

But what I liked about 4/7's game against MIN was how each guy stepped up and challenged the hitters. They put the nail in the coffin against some tough hitters, and the only real threat was mounted against Thornton which he took care of with that knee-buckling breaking pitch on a 3-2 count.

Cold weather or not, these guys gave MIN batters some sore wrists with all the jam sandwiches they had forced on them.

The K totals are good to see too, and in all honesty, most of these guys could close on most teams.

This pen may be better than the 2005 team, especially if Jenks holds on to the closer role all year.

Corlose 15
04-08-2007, 07:56 AM
This bullpen has loads of potential. All six relievers have plus stuff. They just have to throw strikes and this bullpen will be lights out.

IndianWhiteSox
04-08-2007, 08:08 AM
Just remember KW knows what he's doing.

:cool:

Madvora
04-08-2007, 08:26 AM
I like that we don't have anybody that we need to hide like Marte or Politte/Cotts of 2006. Everyone has pitched so far and I've felt pretty confident with all of them out there.

gobears1987
04-08-2007, 08:32 AM
There NO ONE in this bullpen who gives me cramps when I see him enter a game.

Frontman
04-08-2007, 08:39 AM
I feel great about the 'pen, with maybe being worried about Jenks from time to time. (Granted, that's just "Ok, can he hold them down again?" type thoughts, not "Oh God, here comes Bobby.")

whitesoxwilkes
04-08-2007, 09:53 AM
I like the bullpen a lot this year as well. My only worry is that Ozzie misuses it like he was prone to last year.

cburns
04-08-2007, 10:05 AM
Sisco still worries me

nasox
04-08-2007, 10:15 AM
Before yesterday, Thorton was shaky.

bridgeportcopper
04-08-2007, 10:19 AM
Call me crazy for speculating this early, but that Aardsma for Cotts deal has the potential to be another Garland for Karchner special. I liked Neal a couple of years ago and will forever be thankful for his role in the championship season, but from what I saw of him last season as well as this spring, he may not be long for this game.

jabrch
04-08-2007, 10:27 AM
Before yesterday, Thorton was shaky.

Thornton threw the ball well during the spring and only had one bad outing so far. I'm not sure how based on such a small sample size you could even call him shakey after what he did last year.

It's 5 games. While there were some things that looked bad (Gar/Contreras/Thome/JD), you don't expect them to keep looking bad the same way you don't expect Erstad/Pods/Uribe to continue to look this good.

I'm encouraged about the things that have looked good. I'm assuming the things that looked bad, that aren't expected, will come around.

I don't see any reason why this team won't be a contender all year.

champagne030
04-08-2007, 10:31 AM
I like the bullpen a lot this year as well. My only worry is that Ozzie misuses it like he was prone to last year.

Yeah, I remember Ozzie saying he liked our bullpen better this year because guys could go 1 or more innings. Then yesterday it's Sisco, Mac, Thornton to get 4 ****ing outs. There's no reason to use 5 pitchers yesterday. Ozzie does not need to yank Mac because a lefty is up or Thornton because a righty is batting.

Before yesterday, Thorton was shaky.

Thornton was still not in full command. He ended up getting the K on Punto, but not until he went full and had Punto foul off ball 4. That said, I think Thornton will be fine. He's just not hitting his spots at this point.

fusillirob1983
04-08-2007, 11:41 AM
It seems that Kenny must've played a lot of video games in the offseason and learned that you can stop piranhas with fireballs.

I liked what I saw in yesterday's game though.

WhiteSox5187
04-08-2007, 12:09 PM
Well, it's only four games into the season so it's silly to start freaking out going "Oh God JD and Thome aren't hitting!" And it's just as silly to start shoving praise on guys like anyone in the bullpen or Pods or Uribe...having said that though, I AM impressed and cautiously optimistic about the bullpen (and truth be told Pods and Uribe as well)...but Thornton worries me. The past two years there has always been at least one reliever who was lights out the year before and then this year couldn't get anyone out. It was Shingo in '05 it was the whole bullpen in '06 and I fear it might be Thornton in '07. But, as I said earlier it's silly to start freaking out over anyone this point in the season. Thornton might be getting off to a rough start and by June he will be an allstar. We'll see.

oeo
04-08-2007, 12:13 PM
Well, it's only four games into the season so it's silly to start freaking out going "Oh God JD and Thome aren't hitting!" And it's just as silly to start shoving praise on guys like anyone in the bullpen or Pods or Uribe...having said that though, I AM impressed and cautiously optimistic about the bullpen (and truth be told Pods and Uribe as well)...but Thornton worries me. The past two years there has always been at least one reliever who was lights out the year before and then this year couldn't get anyone out. It was Shingo in '05 it was the whole bullpen in '06 and I fear it might be Thornton in '07. But, as I said earlier it's silly to start freaking out over anyone this point in the season. Thornton might be getting off to a rough start and by June he will be an allstar. We'll see.

There's a difference between guys like Shingo, Cotts, Politte, etc. and Thornton. Thornton is nasty. He also had a great spring...I think he's just going through either a dead arm period or the motions. He'll be fine.

UserNameBlank
04-08-2007, 03:08 PM
I like the bullpen a lot this year as well. My only worry is that Ozzie misuses it like he was prone to last year.
The bullpen misused itself last year. Unless a manager is physically working his guys too much, a good bullpen will never be 'misused' because they will get the job done and the manager will look like a genius, ala 2005.

WhiteSox5187
04-08-2007, 03:48 PM
There's a difference between guys like Shingo, Cotts, Politte, etc. and Thornton. Thornton is nasty. He also had a great spring...I think he's just going through either a dead arm period or the motions. He'll be fine.
Shingo had that nasty looking frisbee thing and Cotts in '05 looked mighty impressive too. I hope that Thornton is going to be fine, and like I said I'm not jumping out any windows after four games in the season. I think I said in my last post that by June he might be an allstar. So, it's all wait and see now though. But Thornton is the only in that bullpen of late who has scared me.

ilsox7
04-08-2007, 03:49 PM
Unless a manager is physically working his guys too much, a good bullpen will never be 'misused' because they will get the job done and the manager will look like a genius, ala 2005.

I disagree. A manager certainly can misuse a bullpen. Certain guys have a better chance of succeeding in certain situations, just as certain guys have a better chance of failing in certain situations. It is a managers job to put guys in a position to succeed as much as possible. The results do not always come out how you'd expect them to, but to say a manager cannot misuse a bullpen unless he overuses them is false IMO.

esbrechtel
04-08-2007, 04:57 PM
Sisco still worries me
me too

UserNameBlank
04-08-2007, 05:21 PM
I disagree. A manager certainly can misuse a bullpen. Certain guys have a better chance of succeeding in certain situations, just as certain guys have a better chance of failing in certain situations. It is a managers job to put guys in a position to succeed as much as possible. The results do not always come out how you'd expect them to, but to say a manager cannot misuse a bullpen unless he overuses them is false IMO.
For many teams I think bullpen management is a huge issue, but for a team that should be contending for a WS title I am of the opinion that you need 6 guys in your pen that can get outs. I don't believe in the LOOGY role and all the like. If you have some guys who are afraid of pressure and/or can't get outs and/or can't throw strikes behind in the count, you need to replace them.

I think it is possible to maximize the potential of a crappy bullpen by picking spots, but for a good bullpen 1-6, especially behind a rotation that barring injury will almost certainly combine for at least 950 IP per season, you have to be a real idiot to misuse it. Last year with Ozzie, it was frustrating to see some of these guys only pitch to lefties or righties, but for the most part that only applied to Thornton and MacDougal. MacDougal was coming off another injury and Thornton was trying to put together his first full, valuable season in the majors. So, while it was frustrating I don't think anyone can really blame Ozzie for misusing them as they excelled in their roles and those roles shouldn't have had to be expanded. IMO, the poor performance of the front of the bullpen made the back end look stronger than it really was - not to say that it wasn't strong, just saying that those guys were not supermen and may not have been able to handle expanded roles.

jabrch
04-08-2007, 05:36 PM
Sisco still worries me

He's shown nothing so far to worry about. 3 IP, 2H, 1 BB, 3 Ks.

That's our 2nd LHP out of the pen.

spiffie
04-08-2007, 05:47 PM
There's only one thing that I feel a little concern about with the pen, and that was watching Thornton yesterday. Where we sit (sec. 101, row 2) one of the benefits is you can really see what kind of movement a pitcher is getting on his pitches, or lack thereof. And yesterday it looked like Thornton was throwing his fastball as straight as an arrow in order to get any control on it. Of course, it was miserably cold yesterday, so I am more than willing to accept that it was not the norm for him, but if he throws that way for a while he's going to have problems.

On a side note Javy looked awesome, his ball was dancing.

Navarro's Talent
04-08-2007, 06:45 PM
I like the bullpen a lot. I'm still not sure about Sisco, but I think he as a huge upside. I've really liked Aardsma so far.

pdimas
04-09-2007, 11:16 AM
I love our bullpen and while there may be hiccups from time to time that is going to happen with any bullpen. I gotta believe those young guys all will challenge each other. They will all feed off each other and prove a force to be reckoned with.

soxinem1
04-09-2007, 01:14 PM
Sisco still worries me

http://www.canadiansbaseball.com/uploadfiles/images/276/Cotts.jpg http://i.a.cnn.net/si/images/baseball/mlb/players/6261.jpg http://i.a.cnn.net/si/images/baseball/mlb/players/6453.jpg http://www.bartonccc.edu/sports/baseball/bb02-03/photos02-03/DavidSandersWhiteSox.jpg

'Does that mean you would rather have one or more of us?'

SoxfaninLA
04-09-2007, 03:37 PM
The bullpen overall has pitched very well, especially considering the position they were put in the first 3 games of the season. The most pleasant surprise thus far has been Aardsma, who didn't look all that good in spring training. I was somewhat surprised to see him make the team, but so far he has been pretty impressive.

I am at least a couple weeks away from even beginning to worry about Thornton. He is not relying on a gimmick pitch like Shingo and his velocity hasn't suffered too much so there probably isn't an injury problem like Politte. He is still throwing the ball pretty hard and looked decent yesterday. If its the second week of May and he is walking guys and is letting in runs every other appearance I will start to worry. He will be fine.

Huisj
04-09-2007, 03:44 PM
The one thing I worry a little bit about with so many R-L-R-L-R options in the pen is that all of the relievers will make about 100 appearances and each throw 60 innings. Guillen seems to really really like righty or lefty matchups, and he sometimes seems hesitant to let a guy go more than a batter or two and finish out an inning. Even though that doesn't add up to more innings pitcher for each pitcher, I would think that the number of appearances could still wear someone down if they are constantly up and down in the pen and never have a chance to either stretch out their arm a little or get a few days off for rest.

Chrisaway
04-09-2007, 04:22 PM
This bullpen might be better than '05 so long as our starters actually start eating up some innings.

doublem23
04-09-2007, 04:25 PM
This bullpen might be better than '05 so long as our starters actually start eating up some innings.

On paper, I'd say it's better, except that in '05 we had a few guys have crazy, career years. Take away 2005 and Neal Cotts' career ERA is north of 5.50, for example.

jabrch
04-09-2007, 06:28 PM
And the cool thing about this bullpen is that we actually have depth from both sides that we feel wouldn't be totally overmatched in the minors if we do suffer an injury. Logan could come up today from the left and Haeger/Floyd could come up from the right. (I know - I have little confidence in Floyd at this point - but the odds of needing him today are slim. If he was to come up, we'd only need him to be the mop-up guy in the pen)

jabrch
04-09-2007, 06:28 PM
On paper, I'd say it's better, except that in '05 we had a few guys have crazy, career years. Take away 2005 and Neal Cotts' career ERA is north of 5.50, for example.

Who's going to have the crazy career year this year? Cuz one or two of those and we'd be rocking!

doublem23
04-09-2007, 10:07 PM
Who's going to have the crazy career year this year? Cuz one or two of those and we'd be rocking!

Agreed. Right off the bat Aardsma and Masset have looked very good, and Sisco pitched well in the 1 appearance I've seen him work (Saturday against the Twins).

I think this group is going to have less severe lows, but I don't know if they can have such high peaks, either. I mean, looking at the stats, even I was surprised at how dominant our 'pen was in 2005. Of all the guys who didn't start a game, but threw more than 30 innings, not one posted an ERA above 3.77. :o:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CHW/2005.shtml

jabrch
04-09-2007, 11:21 PM
Agreed. Right off the bat Aardsma and Masset have looked very good, and Sisco pitched well in the 1 appearance I've seen him work (Saturday against the Twins).

I think this group is going to have less severe lows, but I don't know if they can have such high peaks, either. I mean, looking at the stats, even I was surprised at how dominant our 'pen was in 2005. Of all the guys who didn't start a game, but threw more than 30 innings, not one posted an ERA above 3.77. :o:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CHW/2005.shtml


No doubt - the pen was SICK in 2005. Guys were out of their minds - Cotts, Cliff and Dustin in particular. This pen has more talented arms with less MLB experience. I just hope it can have the same sort of successes and can deal with pressure as well as the 2005 group did.

UserNameBlank
04-09-2007, 11:41 PM
No doubt - the pen was SICK in 2005. Guys were out of their minds - Cotts, Cliff and Dustin in particular. This pen has more talented arms with less MLB experience. I just hope it can have the same sort of successes and can deal with pressure as well as the 2005 group did.
Right now it looks like Sisco likes the pressure and Aardsma thrives on it.

With the way Thornton, Sisco, and Aardsma have looked so far since coming to the Sox, you have to wonder if going from a POS team to a contender has more of a positive effect on the psyche of a pitcher than one is led to believe.

JorgeFabregas
04-10-2007, 08:25 AM
2005 BP ERA: 3.23
2007 BP ERA thus far: 2.93.

Fred Manrique
04-10-2007, 08:50 AM
2005 BP ERA: 3.23
2007 BP ERA thus far: 2.93.

Schedule the victory parade, how can we lose with a better bullpen!!!:D:

credefan24
04-10-2007, 09:28 AM
I think one of the "key" events of this early season was when Thornton came in against the Twins on Saturday, with 2 outs and a runner on 3rd. He was able to retire the batter, and leave the runner stranded. Sox went on to win.
Last year, that runner would have scored.

Also, last night, after the Sox put up 2 in the 8th, MacDougal sat down the side, and did not allow even 1 run. I think that's huge. To let the other team know that when the Sox go up, it' going to be difficult for the opponent to claw back and tie the score. Huge.

soxfan13
04-10-2007, 09:46 AM
I think one of the "key" events of this early season was when Thornton came in against the Twins on Saturday, with 2 outs and a runner on 3rd. He was able to retire the batter, and leave the runner stranded. Sox went on to win.
Last year, that runner would have scored.

Also, last night, after the Sox put up 2 in the 8th, MacDougal sat down the side, and did not allow even 1 run. I think that's huge. To let the other team know that when the Sox go up, it' going to be difficult for the opponent to claw back and tie the score. Huge.

The run would not have scored last year with Thornton on the mound. He was one of the best in the bullpen last year.

jenn2080
04-10-2007, 09:48 AM
I think one of the "key" events of this early season was when Thornton came in against the Twins on Saturday, with 2 outs and a runner on 3rd. He was able to retire the batter, and leave the runner stranded. Sox went on to win.
Last year, that runner would have scored.

Also, last night, after the Sox put up 2 in the 8th, MacDougal sat down the side, and did not allow even 1 run. I think that's huge. To let the other team know that when the Sox go up, it' going to be difficult for the opponent to claw back and tie the score. Huge.


Not true at all. You must have him mistaken for Cotts or Riske. The MacDugal and Thorton combo were the only two reliable bullpen arms besides Jenks.

pdimas
04-10-2007, 09:50 AM
I think one of the "key" events of this early season was when Thornton came in against the Twins on Saturday, with 2 outs and a runner on 3rd. He was able to retire the batter, and leave the runner stranded. Sox went on to win.
Last year, that runner would have scored.

Also, last night, after the Sox put up 2 in the 8th, MacDougal sat down the side, and did not allow even 1 run. I think that's huge. To let the other team know that when the Sox go up, it' going to be difficult for the opponent to claw back and tie the score. Huge.

The run would not have scored last year with Thornton on the mound. He was one of the best in the bullpen last year.


Well that runner sure scored on Wednesday when he gave up that damned homer. :rolleyes:

He has looked all good since though.

Zisk77
04-10-2007, 09:54 AM
The beauty here is that if one of the bullpen guys does struggle or gets hurt their is someone like Russell in the minors who can actually help

On a side note: is it just me or does J.D. look like he gained weight?

soxfan13
04-10-2007, 09:54 AM
Well that runner sure scored on Wednesday when he gave up that damned homer. :rolleyes:

He has looked all good since though.

key words in my phrase "last year" I agree he had looked a little shaky to begin the year and I was about to start calling him this years Cliff Politte. He seems to be settling down nicely now :smile:

Foulke You
04-10-2007, 10:17 AM
One of the things I love about this year's bullpen is that they all have great velocity and great stuff. This will go a long way towards keeping the low points of the pen to a minimum unlike last year. When you have as good a stuff as Masset, Sisco, or Aardsma, you can afford the luxury of not being pinpoint all the time with your accuracy. When you have average stuff like '06 Cotts, or David Riske then you better be hitting your spots or you'll get crushed. I'm starting to see the logic in Kenny's bullpen plan this year and I like what I see.:cool:

credefan24
04-10-2007, 10:27 AM
Not true at all. You must have him mistaken for Cotts or Riske. The MacDugal and Thorton combo were the only two reliable bullpen arms besides Jenks.



I don't mean Thornton specifically, I mean the bullpen in general most likely would have let that run in.
my point is that the pen seems a lot stronger early in this season. But yes, Thornton was solid last year.

jabrch
04-10-2007, 10:29 AM
The beauty here is that if one of the bullpen guys does struggle or gets hurt their is someone like Russell in the minors who can actually help


Russell or Logan or Floyd or Haegar or Gio or Broadway or Phillips or 6 other guys...

I know none of these guys are Philip Hughes or Homer Bailey, but there's a good chance that some of these guys would be very effective if they were called up to fill a role in the bullpen or even some of them to spot-start for a while if someone got hurt.

soxinem1
04-10-2007, 10:31 AM
In 2003 I liked the combo of Marte, Gordon, and Osuna because they took turns bailing each other out on the occasions that they came into jams, especially later in the year when Osuna's velocity picked up and Gordon shook off the dust of inactivity.

This year, these guys seem to have a 'I'll pick you up' mentality, not to mention some downright nasty stuff.

And to be honest, other than Opening Day, the starters have been fine. I'd just like to see them get past the 7th inning a few times so these guys don't get burned out by June 30.

And Ozzie has to realize that he does not have to use five pitchers to complete three and five hitters either. That lefty-lefty, righty-righty stuff is driving me a bit batty!