Is Sergio Santos the New White Sox Closer?
The Chicago White Sox have certainly had their share of struggles from the back end of the bullpen this season. Matt Thornton, who began the year as the Closer, has blown four saves. Rookie Chris Sale, also blew a save, which was one of only two opportunities he was given in the position. They have yet to have anybody step forward and own the role, since former Closer Bobby Jenks was not brought back this off season.
So tonight, after Phil Humber pitched seven brilliant innings of one-hit ball against the Yankees, it was anyone’s guess as to who would come in for the save. Manager Ozzie Guillen went with RHP Sergio Santos, and the move paid off. Santos pitched 1.1 innings and got his first career save. The 27-year-old has looked great all season, and has yet to give up a run through eleven innings pitched.
That’s not to say he has claimed the Closer role. As Ozzie stated after one of the many bullpen meltdowns “whoever’s there in the ninth is the one I decided to be the guy to close the ninth. Next question.” Since the Sox had lost ten of their last eleven games, however, Ozzie hadn’t been given the opportunity to prove how serious he was. But Santos’ usage in the ninth likely proves Guillen will be sticking to what he said. For the time being, it appears the Sox will be using the dreaded “Closer by committee.”