Chicago White Sox First Half Review: The Bullpen

JJ SSenior Writer IJuly 3, 2008

At the midway point of the 2007 season, the White Sox bullpen was in shambles. David Aardsma, Andrew Sisco, Nick Masset, and Boone Logan all saw their ERAs soar to around 5.00 or higher.

Matt Thornton appeared to have lost what he had in 2006, and the same went for Mike MacDougal.

The scrap-heap acquisitions of Bret Prinz, Mike Myers, and Ryan Bukvich were pitching like they didn't belong in the majors.

And there was no help on the foreseeable horizon outside of Ehren Wassermann, who is a right-handed specialist at best.

While Tampa Bay's bullpen may have had a higher ERA in 2007, the White Sox had the worst bullpen in the majors when you consider the expectations that were placed on them—to contend.

If you would have told me in 2007 that, at this point in the 2008 season, the White Sox and [Devil] Rays would have two of the best bullpens in baseball, I probably wouldn't have believed it.

But that's exactly the case. This is an article about the White Sox, so I won't delve into Tampa Bay's drastic bullpen turnaround (which has been keyed by Troy Percival, J.P. Howell, and Dan Wheeler), but I can say this: the Red Sox will have their hands full for the rest of the season.

But I digress. The White Sox's bullpen turnaround began when Bukvich and Myers were let go and Aardsma was traded to Boston. Sisco eventually pitched his way out of the organization and became one of the few busts Kenny Williams has traded for since the ill-fated Todd Ritchie and Billy Koch trades.

So that left the White Sox with Bobby Jenks, Matt Thornton, Mike MacDougal, Wassermann, Logan, and Masset returning from their 2007 bullpen.

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