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White Sox sticking with rookie Hector Santiago as closer

Apr 26, 2012, 11:51 AM EDT

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Robin Ventura gave Hector Santiago a public vote of confidence following his first blown save of the season and the manager made it clear last night that he’s sticking with the rookie after a second blown save.

“I think stuff happens, but we’re still going with him,” Ventura told Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune. “He’s going to be fine.”

Maybe, but it seemed pretty clear when Ventura named Santiago the closer and seems even more obvious now that he’s no better than the White Sox’s fourth-best reliever behind Matt Thornton, Addison Reed, and Jesse Crain.

And now Santiago has two blown saves with an 8.53 ERA in seven appearances, canceling out an excellent 10/1 K/BB ratio by serving up four homers in just 6.1 innings. Meanwhile, the trio of Reed, Thornton, and Crain have combined for a 1.13 ERA and 28/3 K/BB ratio in 24 innings with only Crain serving up a homer.

  1. El Bravo - Apr 26, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    Yeah? I hear the Broncos are sticking with Tim Tebow as their QB as well.

  2. mordecofe - Apr 26, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    Isn’t this good news, though, since we so many times rail on managers for using their most effective reliever in the easiest spot, a clean 9th inning? I’m happier he does this and leaves Thornton/Reed/Crain to “save” games earlier in the game.

    • El Bravo - Apr 26, 2012 at 12:33 PM

      I think we rail on managers for not using their best available pitcher for a given situtation. Given a hold situation (i.e. what you refer to as a “‘save’ situation earlier in the game”), there are times the “closer” would be more useful in my opinion, thus your argument makes sense. There are also save situations that would require your best available option (i.e. usually the closer). That said, it is clear that in EITHER situation I pose, Santiago is not the best available option. Santiago should pitch the non-save and non-hold situations until he gets his shit back on track, in my opinion.

  3. yahmule - Apr 26, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    Robin Ventura might have absolutely zero experience managing, but he possesses a Major League manager’s innate ability to make a poor decision and obstinately stick with it despite all indications he should relent.

  4. jlovenotjlo - Apr 26, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    Santiago has my 100% vote of confidence to “close” games in 3 run lead situations. In fact, bring him in any time the White Sox are up or down by more than 3 runs or more if the situation warrants it. He was a mediocre minor league pitcher last year, I’m sure he’s better than Matt Thornton and Addison Reed this year.

    Keep having AJ Pierzynski bunt, Robin. You’re doing awesome.

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