FanPost

Who Should be the Closer for the 2011 White Sox?

Everyone knows how valuable Bobby Jenks was to the success of the Chicago White Sox winning the 2005 World Series, breaking an 88 year drought. For the last five seasons, Jenks has still been an above average closer, but I believe the White Sox made the right move in not resigning him. His continued weight problems, a decrease in the speed of his fastball were the two main reasons why the White Sox made the right decision. Is it just me, or could you guess what Jenks was throwing 99 percent of the time? He always threw a first pitch fastball, and then would try to strikeout the opposing hitter with off-speed pitches only after the batter had two strikes on him. As the 2011 season approaches, there are a few worthy candidates to replace Jenks as the all-important closer. I feel that Chris Sale should be named the permanent closer, and I will now list why I feel the other candidates are not as deserving as the young phenom Sale. Perhaps the most logical choice is letting Matt Thornton close out games in 2011. He absolutely dominates left handed batters, and also has no problem getting out tough right handed hitters as well. He has been given the opportunity to close games the last couple years, either due to a Jenks injury, or the batters coming up in the ninth inning of the opposing team were solid left handed hitters. Thornton has been average as a closer, and I just feel he is far more valuable coming in the seventh or eighth inning to shut down the opposition. I feel the most underrated part of winning baseball is the ability of a relief pitcher to come in the seventh or eighth inning to preserve a lead, and Thornton may be the best in all of baseball at this role. Another choice to be the White Sox closer is Sergio Santos. Santos has three quality pitches: a fastball that reaches in the upper 90's, a slider that is devastating to right handed batters, and a change-up that improved throughout the season, especially to keep left handed batters off balance. Having praised Santos for his three quality pitches, I feel he does not have the mental makeup of a closer. He is still very young, and the White Sox should keep him in the familiar role of working the seventh and eighth innings with Thornton to keep intact a lethal lefty/righty combination. The last option would be Jesse Crain, who not only helps our bullpen in that we needed another quality righty in the pen, but he left the hated Twins to join us on the South Side! Nothing is better than the Twins losing a quality arm out of their bullpen, and the White Sox snatching them from the rival Twins. Crain has been a quality set-up man throughout his career, so obviously the White Sox should keep him in his effective role that made him a fan favorite in Minnesota. Lastly, I believe Chris Sale has the mental makeup to become an effective closer for the next decade, even though he will be only 22 years old in March. He had four saves last year, and only gave up one earned run amongst his four saves. He has a fastball that can reach double digits, a curveball that even Joe Mauer had and will continually have trouble recognizing, and a change-up that pitching coach Don Cooper says may be his best pitch when it is all said and done. In conclusion, White Sox fans should be excited for the upcomiong 2011 seraason. They have an offense that will be far more balanced and explosive, a pitching rotation, that if can stay healthy, will be one of the best in all of baseball, and a bullpen full or hard throwing arms that will do a very good job in shutting down the opposition. If Chris Sale can be the guy the White Sox can count on all year to close out games, then look for the White Sox to overtake the Minnesota Twins and win the American League Central in 2011!

 

Everyone knows how valuable Bobby Jenks was to the success of the Chicago White Sox winning the 2005 World Series, breaking an 88 year drought. For the last five seasons, Jenks has still been an above average closer, but I believe the White Sox made the right move in not resigning him. His continued weight problems, a decrease in the speed of his fastball were the two main reasons why the White Sox made the right decision. Is it just me, or could you guess what Jenks was throwing 99 percent of the time? He always threw a first pitch fastball, and then would try to strikeout the opposing hitter with off-speed pitches only after the batter had two strikes on him. As the 2011 season approaches, there are a few worthy candidates to replace Jenks as the all-important closer. I feel that Chris Sale should be named the permanent closer, and I will now list why I feel the other candidates are not as deserving as the young phenom Sale. Perhaps the most logical choice is letting Matt Thornton close out games in 2011. He absolutely dominates left handed batters, and also has no problem getting out tough right handed hitters as well. He has been given the opportunity to close games the last couple years, either due to a Jenks injury, or the batters coming up in the ninth inning of the opposing team were solid left handed hitters. Thornton has been average as a closer, and I just feel he is far more valuable coming in the seventh or eighth inning to shut down the opposition. I feel the most underrated part of winning baseball is the ability of a relief pitcher to come in the seventh or eighth inning to preserve a lead, and Thornton may be the best in all of baseball at this role. Another choice to be the White Sox closer is Sergio Santos. Santos has three quality pitches: a fastball that reaches in the upper 90's, a slider that is devastating to right handed batters, and a change-up that improved throughout the season, especially to keep left handed batters off balance. Having praised Santos for his three quality pitches, I feel he does not have the mental makeup of a closer. He is still very young, and the White Sox should keep him in the familiar role of working the seventh and eighth innings with Thornton to keep intact a lethal lefty/righty combination. The last option would be Jesse Crain, who not only helps our bullpen in that we needed another quality righty in the pen, but he left the hated Twins to join us on the South Side! Nothing is better than the Twins losing a quality arm out of their bullpen, and the White Sox snatching them from the rival Twins. Crain has been a quality set-up man throughout his career, so obviously the White Sox should keep him in his effective role that made him a fan favorite in Minnesota. Lastly, I believe Chris Sale has the mental makeup to become an effective closer for the next decade, even though he will be only 22 years old in March. He had four saves last year, and only gave up one earned run amongst his four saves. He has a fastball that can reach double digits, a curveball that even Joe Mauer had and will continually have trouble recognizing, and a change-up that pitching coach Don Cooper says may be his best pitch when it is all said and done. In conclusion, White Sox fans should be excited for the upcomiong 2011 seraason. They have an offense that will be far more balanced and explosive, a pitching rotation, that if can stay healthy, will be one of the best in all of baseball, and a bullpen full or hard throwing arms that will do a very good job in shutting down the opposition. If Chris Sale can be the guy the White Sox can count on all year to close out games, then look for the White Sox to overtake the Minnesota Twins and win the American League Central in 2011!

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