Searching For Saves: Will Disarray In Chicago Lead To A Sleeper Emerging?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

As it is the Chicago White Sox pitching staff owns a 5.30 ERA in August, so why not trade your one trustworthy reliever (though that fact is debatable on its own).  Yesterday the White Sox jettisoned Tyler Clippard, sending him to Houston, leaving the bullpen in utter disarray.  Is there a pitcher who could step up and emerge as a closer candidate?

First, let’s take a look at our RRQ (with 20+ innings pitched required to qualify) scores to try and find someone (despite some ugly overall numbers):

  • Juan Minaya – (5.65)
  • Gregory Infante – (36.88)
  • David Holmberg – (44.63)
  • Chris Beck – (54.05)

Those are some incredibly ugly scores, with Minaya representing the “best” mark (despite being a below average option).  Where he’s hurt is an inflated fly ball rate (48.4%) and an inability to generate many swings outside of the strike zone (28.2% O-Swing%).  Those have coupled to lead to him allowing 1.65 HR/9 and a 3.95 BB/9, neither of which create an ideal closing candidate.

So is there anyone who could emerge?!  Yes, there is…

The name who isn’t included here is Aaron Bummer, as he’s only thrown 8.2 IP in the Majors thus far.  It’s his fourth level pitched at this season, starting the year at High-A, and the overall minor league results are impressive and potentially show the entire skill set we look for:

  • Strikeouts – 9.9 K/9
  • Walks – 3.7 BB/9
  • Groundballs – 2.31 GO/AO

He’s an easy pitcher to overlook, as he was a 19th round draft pick and missed the entire 2015 season.  He’s shown swing and miss stuff with his slider in short order (19.64% Whiff%) while averaging 94.04 mph on his fourseam fastball.  It’s a repertoire that brings potential success, and don’t be surprised to see him quickly rise into the role.

For those in deeper formats, he’s the name to really keep a close eye on.

Sources – Fangraphs, Baseball Reference,, Brooks Baseball

Make sure to check out our Mid-Season Top 50 Prospects by clicking here!

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