The weather in Chicago has been as hot as it’s been in years. With triple-digit temperatures for three straight days, it’s hard to imagine anything hotter than this heat in the Windy City.
The Chicago White Sox may be even hotter than that, though.
With a 19-2 victory over Texas on Tuesday and a walk-off win against them last night, the White Sox have eliminated a lot of doubts as to if they are “for real.” Also, with Kevin Youkilis now plugged into a lineup with no real weak link, the Sox have been trotting out a squad that can compete with the most potent offenses in baseball.
Add in the fact that you have two ace pitchers, a good young closer, and a relaxed, but hungry group, and you have a very competitive ball club.
However, on a roster with not that many flaws, there is one that jumps off the page: the White Sox currently have eight rookie pitchers, with six of the team’s seven relief pitchers being rookies.
The White Sox have a good roster, but if they want to turn a good year into a special year, they are going to have to change that.
Some of those rookies are very good pieces out in that bullpen, like Addison Reed and Nate Jones, but you cannot lean on your entire bullpen being rookies down the stretch. There’s no telling whether or not they’ll be able to handle a pennant race, even if the AAA stats of Leyson Septimo and Duente Heath are stellar.
Yes, a big reason as to why it’s a rookie-filled staff right now is injuries. Jesse Crain, Brian Bruney, John Danks and Phil Humber are all currently on the disabled list. However, pitching was something the Sox probably needed to get even before the injury bug hit.
For the first three months, I thought starting pitching was a bigger need than the bullpen. But with the emergence of Jose Quintana and both Humber and Danks coming off the DL likely sometime after the All-Star break, I’ve shifted my attention to the bullpen. You have to figure that Danks will bounce back, and if he can’t, one of Axelrod or Humber can man down the fifth spot, right?
Considering that, the White Sox definitely need a piece or two in the bullpen.
At the trade deadline, teams looking to sell like to deal bullpen pieces, as they are really unnecessary luxuries to a bad team. If a right-handed bullpen piece is added and Crain comes back healthy, the bullpen would have the potential to look like the strength is was in May.