White Sox reliever Sergio Santos earned his first save of the season, going 1 1/3rd innings, giving up 2 hits, and striking out 1.
Is he the new White Sox closer? He just might be. With Chris Sale and Matt Thornton pitching poorly, Santos will more than likely get the next save opportunity for Ozzie Guillen. With the White Sox amidst a losing streak, any positive news is well received.
Santos threw 51+ innings in relief last year, going 2-2 with one save and a 2.96 ERA and 3.82 xFIP. He sported a K rate of 9.75, a walk rate of 4.66 and a ground ball rate of 35%. This season, he has pitched in 8 games, and has been unscored upon in 11 innings, resulting in a 0.00 ERA, an excellent 1.09 WHIP and a 14-5 K/BB rate.
The Chicago Sun TImes reported on Saturday that Ozzie Guillen stated that Santos would get save opportunities if the opponents first few hitters are right handed, and that Sale and Thornton would be used if the hitters are left-handed. This sounds like Santos may be his first choice to close going forward.
On Monday night, he came in with a runner on to pitch to Derek Jeter and got him to ground out. Not too difficult, since Jeter is a ground ball machine. What is interesting is that Santo stayed in to pitch the 9th vs lefties Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira and righty Alex Rodriguez. So, Guillen had the opportunity to go with Thornton to start the 9th and chose not to.
Pick up Santos if he is available in your league.