Chicago White Sox 1st Half Report Cards: Pitchers

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For the first couple months of the 2010 season, the White Sox pitching staff was similar to the iPhone4: high expectations of “the best yet,” followed by major problems, mechanical flaws and overall disappointment.

Then, more mysteriously than the Chupacabra, the White Sox win 25 of their last thirty games to go into the All-Star break leading the AL Central as the hottest team in baseball.  Let’s break down their success in our second “back to school” edition of 1st half “report cards.”

For position player report cards go here

By: Soxman

soxman

Many believe the White Sox cannot possibly maintain the blistering hot winning streak that catapulted them into first place in the very last game before the all-star break.  Before speculating on the future, trade rumors or the play-offs, let’s see how White Sox hurlers fared during the first half.

Starters

John Danks A

Danks was the White Sox best starting pitcher for the first half of the season; polishing off his first half by carrying a no hitter into the 7th against the Angels on July 8th.  He currently ranks 12th in the AL in ERA (3.29), and has the best WHIP (1.13) among Sox starters.   He could easily have four more wins had he received better run support.

Gavin Floyd B

Floyd lived up to his traditional first half struggles, only to become ultra hot as inter-league play began, going 3-0 with a 1.27 ERA over his last four starts.  Floyd nearly matched Ted Lilly’s no-hit bid at Wrigley Field and out dueled rookie-of-the-year candidate Stephen Strasburg.

Freddy Garcia B

Against reasonable expectations (this is not the 2005 “Sweaty Freddy”), Garcia has been an outstanding fifth starter, leading the team in wins (9), 10th among AL pitchers.

Mark Buehrle C+

Buehrle was uncharacteristically wild for the first couple months of the season, which has thus far led to his third worst WHIP posting ever (1.43).  Opposing batters have a .297 batting average against him, worst among all pitchers on the Sox active roster.  Still, he likely made the greatest defensive play of the year with his “football hike” falling toss on opening day.

Jake Peavy C

Peavy had completely turned his season around before a freak shoulder injury ended it. While his 2010 ERA (4.63) will be the highest of his career, he led the team is strike-outs (93), at the break and posted a 1.84 ERA over his last three starts.

Bullpen

J.J. Putz  A+

Putz has been a bargain for the White Sox, not giving up a run in his last nine appearances, going 5-2, with 2 saves, a 1.59 ERA, and 40 Ks in 34 IP.

Sergio Santos A+

What more can you say about a rookie pitcher, a converted shortstop, who’s posted a 1.93 with 32 Ks in 28 IP?  Santos and Putz essentially have filled the role Scott Linebrink was signed for.

Matt Thornton A+

Despite Thornton’s horrible appearance in the 2010 all-star game, he has been one of the most intimidating lefty relievers in baseball.  He has the best strike-out rate among relievers and has gone 2-3, 5 saves, with a 2.70 ERA and 49 Ks in just 36.2 innings pitched.

Bobby Jenks A

Jenks ERA (3.86) may appear a bit high for a closer, and there were times this year when you would cringe when he took the mound.  But he has successfully converted 19 of 20 save opportunities, striking out 39 hitters in 32.2 innings.  While baseball experts continue to wait for his fall, there have been few better.

Tony Pena C+

Pena has assumed the long relief role for the White Sox leading the bullpen in innings pitched (44.2).  His ERA (4.63) could be lower, but he has handled his role well.

Scott Linebrink D-

Linebrink is truly one of baseball’s nice guys, but the White Sox obviously had higher hopes for him than his current assuming of mop-up duty.  Still, he hasn’t given up a run in his last four appearances, and improved his strike out ratio.

Randy Williams F

Besides Jayson Nix, he’s the only White Sox player to lose his roster spot from poor performance.  A 5.40 ERA for a lefty specialist, might be acceptable, if he could actually get lefties out.

Class is dismissed.

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Comments

  1. paulmbanks says

    Jenks an A?? Can’t say I agree with that. I see your points, but I think b+ sounds more like it.

    I’m still convinced Gavin Floyd read my scathing article of his performance. Cuz he turned it around the very next start. So of course, I wrote a correction article. a new piece about well he was pitching

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