By Matt Snyder
It's no secret the White Sox have had issues closing out games this season. Matt Thornton entered the season as the closer, with Bobby Jenks out of the way, and has yet to record a save in four chances. Chris Sale has the team's lone save, though he's blown two. Tony Pena also checks in with a blown save. Now, the White Sox appear ready to use Sergio Santos as the closer.
Regardless, Ozzie Guillen is tired of talking about it and went a little too far in trying to make an emphatic point.
"Nobody in the American League has a better bullpen than the White Sox." (Chicago Tribune )
Taken as a stand-alone comment, it's pretty ridiculous, even while keeping in mind the small sample of what we've seen so far and that a few of them (specifically Thornton and Sale) haven't pitched nearly to their ability.
Still ... the White Sox have a 6.14 bullpen ERA. Only the Red Sox are worse in the AL. They've blown six saves and closed only one. No one has fewer saves and no other team has more than four blown saves. Opposing teams are hitting .310 off the White Sox relievers, which is the worst mark in the league. They relief corps has also allowed the highest on-base percentage and slugging percentage to opposing teams. They're tied for the most doubles and home runs allowed, while sporting a pretty big lead in most total bases allowed.
Basically, the numbers actually say the complete opposite of what Guillen. The White Sox have, to this point, had the worst bullpen in the AL.
But let's remember the context of what was going on here. Guillen was simply trying to say he had confidence in his guys and that the performance to this point isn't indicative of the potential they possess. I'd agree that they're far better than they've pitched and I'm not surprised one bit Ozzie went a bit overboard in his statement. He's Ozzie Guillen. That's what he does.
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