What Is Wrong With Chicago White Sox Reliever Nate Jones?

By Matt Malecha
Nate Jones Chicago White Sox
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

For the third straight game, the Chicago White Sox went to extra innings.

After brilliant outings from both team starters Tuesday evening, the New York Mets bullpen was able to edge out the White Sox pen as the Mets won 1-0 on Mike Baxter’s 10 inning pinch-hit RBI single. Right-hander reliever Nate Jones received the loss in Tuesday night’s contest after giving up a leadoff walk in the 10th, which eventually ended up costing him and the Sox the game.

Walks have been the theme of Jones’ 2013 season. The 27-year-old reliever now has eight base on balls in 14 innings pitched. Jones’ ERA is an alarming 5.79 in this year as well, and it seems as if the flame thrower isn’t the same guy who posted a 2.39 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP in his rookie season a year ago.

Although relievers win-loss records don’t always reflect how they’ve pitched, it is worth noting that Jones is also 0-3 this season after going 8-0 in 2012.

With a fastball that is constantly in the upper 90s, there’s no doubt Jones has the ability to be a top setup man in the MLB. However, if he isn’t able to locate his heater, Jones immediately runs into trouble, as we saw Tuesday night.

Moving forward, I’d expect skipper Robin Ventura to give Jones an opportunity to redeem himself as soon as possible. Ventura has shown in the past to go right back to a struggling reliever the following night. Although I like Ventura’s style of managing, the Sox can’t continue to give away games if they want to contend in the AL Central this year.

Matt Malecha is a Chicago White Sox writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @MattMalecha and add him to your network on Google

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