While the White Sox were quiet on the final day of the trade deadline, the moves general manager Kenny Williams made in the weeks previous to that have been paying off for them as they have entered the middle of August.
One of those moves was acquiring the closer of the Houston Astros Brett Myers. When Myers came to Chicago, it was a bit unclear as to what role the White Sox would use him in. They immediately inserted Myers into the setup spot, a role in which he has shined in so far this season.
Myers has 8.2 innings under his belt in 10 games in a White Sox uniform. In that time, he has given up just three hits and one unearned run, good for a 0.00 ERA. Opponents are hitting just .111 and he has a WHIP of .058
Myers had a 3.52 ERA when he came over from Houston this season, but he has lowered that to 2.75 in his innings with the Sox. He has given White Sox manager Robin Ventura the option of choosing lefty-righty matchups between Myers and left hander Matt Thornton. Thornton seemed to be struggling this season as the team’s set up man, and with righty Jessie Crain on the DL for much of the season, Myers was a welcome addition to the late innings.
What the addition of Myers has done, is take all the young rookie pitchers that the Sox have in the bullpen, and move them down a spot. Crain is no longer needed to work the heavy innings workload he has in the past. Thornton doesn’t need to throw to so many righties. Nate Jones isn’t responsible for holding onto one run games in the later innings. Leyson Septimo can come in when a starter doesn’t go as long as Ventura and pitching coach Don Cooper would have liked.
What Myers also brings is the presence of a backup closer, in situations where current closer Addison Reed is unavailable. He can also slide in that spot if the workload for Reed ends up being a bit much for him this year, seeing the rookie has likely never pitched as much as he has this season.
Nate Jones talked about how he has been able to pick the mind of Myers. In June and July, Jones’ ERA were over 6.00 in each month. So far, in the month of August, Jones has thrown 5 innings with an ERA of 3.60.
White Sox television play by play man Hawk Harrelson says every year that “the team with the best bullpen in this division will be the team that comes out on top.” That statement has seemed to hold true for the past decade. The addition of Myers has had instant results in the success of the White Sox bullpen, and is also a huge reason the White Sox still sit atop the AL central. It will also be the key to holding off the Detroit Tigers and giving the White Sox a chance at the playoffs. Something Myers wasn’t even close to with his previous club.