White Sox 1st Qtr Report Card: Pitchers & Coaches

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“They’re all dead?!?!” describes the “Lost” television series finale in three simple words.  “You’re Fired” are two words to perfectly summarize the “Celebrity Apprentice.”  And do these analogies compare to White Sox pitcher report cards for the first quarter of the 2010 season?  How about Ozzie Guillen’s future with the Sox?

Let’s play ball! For the 1st Qtr report card of position players go here

By Soxman

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While I’m not a pessimist, the two quotes above could be used to describe the inconsistency of most White Sox pitchers this season, and the future of the Sox coaching staff if things do not turn around SOON.

John Danks: A+

Thus far, Danks has taken the next step towards super stardom, ranking second among American League starters in ERA (2.37).  With any semblance of run support, he could easily and deservingly be 8-1.  He’s one of four Sox players deserving all-star consideration.

Sergio Santos: A+

Santos changed “majors” from shortstop to pitcher, and in less than one year is turning heads as he appears to be pursuing a masters in closing.  He didn’t give up a run until his 13th appearance on the season, has a lively fastball, great composure and solid statistics to boot.  How does a 0.52 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, and 21Ks in 17.1 IP “strike” ya?  He’s been the biggest pleasant surprise of the season thus far.

Matt Thornton: A+

28 strike outs in 19 IP, a 1.89 ERA and and a WHIP (0.68) that is harder to pick up than his blazing fastball.  When Thornton has taken the ball this season, you pretty much could go to the bathroom or grab a snack knowing the lead would be safe.  Only you would have to do it quickly as he has made fast work of the competition, holding them to a .141 batting average.  He should be given an honorary (or real) doctorate in closing very soon.

J.J. Putz: B

Give the guy some extra credit here for being less than a year removed from elbow surgery.  With a 3.68 ERA, and 18 Ks in 14.2 IP, Putz has arguably been the third best reliever for the Sox this season.

Tony Pena: B-

Someone had to slip into the long relief role at the start of the season and it appears Tony Pena has accepted the job.  He leads all Sox relievers in IP (25.2), and is holding opponents to a .196 BA.  You would like to see him lower the 4.21 ERA a bit, but his supporting numbers overall are solid.

Mark Buehrle: B-

Since his dominating start on opening day, we have seen the tale of two Buehrles.  His performance is trending upward however, as he’s posted a 2.96 ERA over his last four starts.  However, his 4.38 ERA overall, tells you just how bad some of the other starts have been.  His ERA is also a half a run over his career average, a statistic he should correct if the defense around him improves.  He’s the best bet to finish within career norms, aside from wins, which is somewhat out of his control.

Randy Williams: C

How does a 5.82 ERA for a reliever warrant a C grade?  Williams made the Sox roster as a left-handed specialist and has done grade A work in that role thus far.  In 10 IP against lefty hitters, Williams is yet to give up a run.  His ERA against righties: 14.14!  That’s not a typo. Therefore, half of Williams’s failings can be attributed to misuse.  If it were not for his horrific 2.65 WHIP, Williams could have easily earned a C+.

Scott Linebrink: D+

The 4.42 ERA is one run over his career mark and high for a reliever who should be performing a set-up instead of mop-up, 7th inning transition role.  Still, he’s only blown one save on the season, and is averaging more than a strikeout per inning.  Oddly, he has been tremendously effective against left-handers (0ER, 11Ks in 10 IP) and disastrous against righties (10.14 ERA in 8 IP).

Freddy Garcia: D-

If you went into 2010 expecting the 2005 Freddy Garcia, then shame on you.  At this point in his career, Garcia truly is a fifth starter, who relies on foolery rather than dominance to get outs.  If the ERA was under five, we could live with it.  Still, his three wins are second most on the staff!  He’s trending towards the “F” train (and we don’t mean Felix Hernandez) if his numbers do not improve (9.72 ERA in his last two starts).  Did you hear that Daniel Hudson?

peavy white sox

Jake Peavy: F

Labeled as a true staff “ace” going into the season, Peavy has struggled with his command, experienced “dead arm” and honestly just struggled with American League hitters most of the season.  As the highest paid pitcher on the staff, a 6.05 ERA (2.7 higher than his career average), does not warrant a passing grade.  The one bright spot is that despite his troubles, Peavy is among the league leaders (11th) in strike-outs with 58.

Gavin Floyd: F

Floyd historically fails during the first two months of the season and turns it on in the second half.  His 6.02 ERA is the third worst on the team and second worst among starters.  His 1.54 WHIP is worst among all Sox starting pitchers.  Floyd always proves me wrong, so perhaps I should say he’s going to stink the rest of the season. Then he’ll earn an “A?’

Bobby Jenks: F

The closer always comes in last right?  Well Jenks is not disappointing fans at all then. He’s currently last on the staff in ERA (6.35) and hits allowed by relievers (13).  POD’s “Boom,” which plays as he takes the mound, describes his season thus far.  The promising statistic that could earn him a passing grade during the second quarter?  Despite his horrible numbers, Jenks has only blown one save in 8 chances this season.

Sox coaching staff:

Don Cooper: D

Great work with Santos, but his staff ranks 24th in MLB in ERA.

Greg Walker: F

The Sox are 2nd from last in the MLB in team BA (.237).  Great work with Alex Rios, but if success is measured by statistics, you do the math.

Ozzie Guillen: F

Loveable and a White Sox icon, but he was given the team he asked for.  The captain has to go down with his ship.

Super Fans:

Soxman: F

I have only been to two Sox games this season in character.  Despite my 2-0 record, a true fan needs to be better than that. There’s the bell.  Class is concluded for today.

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