The Chicago White Sox have probably the best bullpen in the American League for this season. 29-year old righty closer Bobby Jenks was rumored to be traded all winter but the White Sox were smart to keep him. Jenks pitched in 52 games (0 starts) for the White Sox last season and he was 3-4 with 29 saves, a 3.71 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP. In his five years with the White Sox, Jenks has pitched in 274 games (0 starts) in which he is 13-15 with 146 saves, a 3.21 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP. Jenks has wicked stuff and I see him improving his bottom line numbers in 2010 for the White Sox.
33-year old lefty Matt Thornton would be a closer on most teams but he is the set up man for the Pale Hose. Thornton pitched in 70 games (0 starts) for the White Sox last year and he was 6-3 with 4 saves, a 2.74 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. He only gave up 58 hits in 72 1/3 innings last season while whiffing 87 batters showing just how nasty he can be. Thornton has pitched four years for the White Sox working in 275 games (0 starts) in which he is 20-13 with 9 saves, a 3.31 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. Thornton brings the easy heat from the left side for the White Sox as he is one of the nastiest lefty relievers in the game.
33-year old righty J.J. Putz was talked into joining the White Sox by his buddy from their days in Seattle together (Matt Thornton). Putz pitched in 29 games (0 starts) for the Mets last season in which he was 1-4 with 2 saves, a 5.22 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP. He has now pitched in 337 games (0 starts) in his major league career and he is 23-19 with 103 saves, a 3.24 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. Putz, like Thornton, could close if something were to happen to Bobby Jenks in 2010.
33-year old righty Scott Linebrink was hurting all of last season and it showed in his numbers. Linebrink pitched in 57 games (0 starts) for the White Sox last season in which he was 3-7 with 2 saves, a 4.66 ERA and a 1.66 WHIP. In his two years with the White Sox, Linebrink has pitched in 107 games (0 starts) in which he is 6-5 with 2 saves, a 3.99 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. Linebrink is a much better pitcher than he showed in 2009 and he will prove it if healthy in 2010.
28-year old righty fireballer Tony Pena came over from the D-Backs in a trade last summer. Pena pitched in 35 games (0 starts) for the White Sox last season and he was 1-2 with 1 save, a 3.75 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP. He pitched in 72 games (0 starts) overall last season for the White Sox in which he was 6-5 with 2 saves, a 3.99 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. He has a big time arm giving the White Sox a very deep pen in 2010.
34-year old lefty Randy Williams will likely be the White Sox #2 lefty out of the pen in 2010. Williams pitched in 25 games (0 starts) for the White Sox last year and he was 0-1 with a 4.58 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP. He whiffed 22 batters in only 17 2/3 innings last season showing that he might be ready for his new role in 2010.
27-year old righty Freddy Dolsi will battle for one of the last spots in the pen in 2010 for the White Sox. Dolsi pitched in 6 games (0 starts) for the Tigers last season and he was 1-0 with a 1.69 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP. He also pitched in 39 games (0 starts) in AAA-ball last year in which he was 4-3 with 10 saves, a 3.83 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP.
24-year old righty Jhonny Nunez also has the potential to help the White Sox’ pen in 2010. Nunez pitched in 7 games (0 starts) for the White Sox last season and he was 0-0 with a 9.53 ERA and a 2.12 WHIP. He also pitched in 42 games (0 starts) in AAA-ball last season in which he was 5-0 with 4 saves, a 2.55 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP. Nunez only gave up 57 hits in 70 2/3 innings last season in the minors while whiffing 79 batters showing that he probably has the stuff to succeed in the majors.
32-year old righty Greg Aquino has always had a good arm but he has never really converted it into success at the major league level. Aquino pitched in 10 games (0 starts) for the Indians last season and he was 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.75 WHIP. He also pitched in 30 games (1 start) in AAA-ball last season in which he was 1-2 with 16 saves, a 3.13 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP.
25-year old righty Jeff Marquez was one of the players the White Sox got from the Yankees for Nick Swisher and he is no closer to the majors. He pitched in 11 games (all starts) in AAA-ball last season in which he was 2-8 with a 9.85 ERA and a 2.06 WHIP. He gave up 72 hits (12 of which were homers) as he didn’t miss many bats last season.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE BULLPEN IN 2010: A