White Sox Bullpen Struggles In Series Finale
Baseball season is a long and strenuous one. Even the elite teams in baseball face their fair share of ups and downs over 162 games.
It's important not to overreact at the first sign of trouble.
So when the White Sox dropped the finale of their season opening series on Sunday against the lowly Cleveland Indians, rational White Sox fans everywhere had to remind themselves to take a deep breath and relax.
After all it's only one game right?
However, there are those of us out there who are prone to jump to conclusions. To those people, Sunday's 7-1 loss despite a standout performance from starter John Danks may have displayed a chink in the proverbial armor, as the bullpen gave up five runs in just two innings of work.
This past off-season when the White Sox elected not to resign closer Bobby Jenks, Kenny Williams made it clear that he had confidence in the young power arms of Chris Sale and Sergio Santos. Add in all-star Matt Thornton with the addition of longtime Twins set-up man Jesse Crain, and the White Sox can lay claim to one of the premier back-ends in baseball.
While the bullpen appears to be a strength for the White Sox from the eighth inning on, manager Ozzie Guillen and about 8,726 disgruntled Cleveland fans (reported attendance of Sunday's game, an all-time low) found out that there may still be deficiencies in the middle of that Sox bullpen.
Veteran left-hander Will Ohman and long relief man Tony Pena struggled badly in Cleveland. The worry is that if Ohman and Pena can't get it together it will force the starters to go deeper and deeper into games to mask the holes in the middle of that bullpen.
That likely won't sit well with Guillen, who has vowed to take a more hands-on approach in managing and conserving his arms for the stretch run.
Unfortunately there isn't much Guillen can do, because in April you basically have to play the cards that you are dealt. However, don't be surprised if the White Sox are on the market for bullpen help come June or July.
After all, Williams has a penchant for making moves, so if you're Ohman or Pena you have to look at these next couple months as crucial towards keeping your job.
It might be a long season, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were already short on time.