The Chicago White Sox are, after their recent tear through the interleague schedule, improbably smack dab in the middle of the AL Central race. No team that starts both Juan Pierre and Omar Vizquel at the top of the same lineup can be taken too seriously; no matter how hilariously it is managed by Ozzie Guillen.
On the whole, the Sox rank as one of the most detestable teams in baseball, from Ozzie Guillen and Harriet Williams out front and weapons-grade douchebag A.J. Pierzynski pulling up the rear. The Sox bullpen is an interesting study as its staffed exclusively by surly, flame-throwing dollops of angry humanity.
The Padres pen might have a "cool" nickname and the requisite line of apparel, the White Sox pen is nothing to sneeze at - mostly because they'll eat and/or sit on you for doing so. Ozzie's usage pattern pretty much ensures that every half inning sees a bigger, harder throwing guy with an ugly disposition and even worse facial hair emerge from the pen. Consider this handy dandy chart displaying their strikeout prowess and great love of uncooked cookie dough.
|Fat Guy||Height||Weight||K per 9||Average Fastball (mph)|
Has Kenny Williams cracked some sort of fat guy pitching algorithm? Surely big dudes that throw hard and miss bats are in steady supply around baseball - guys like that get nothing but chances. Maybe there's something to this - load up the back-end of your pen with back-end loaded hurlers? Consider the relationship of Sox hurlers BMI to their K rate.
Though Slothy Tony Pena ruins the relationship almost completely, it is easy to see that fatness = strikeouts. If strikeouts are the key to pitching victory, that must mean the ChiSox pen is one of the best in baseball?
Would you believe it, they are! Ozzie's rotund pen ranks second in baseball with a tidy xFIP of 3.67. Four of the above behemoths sport FIPs under 4. Converted shortstop (!) Sergio Santos, soon-to-be-a-wealthy-closer-again J.J. Putz, a certain blogger's secret boyfriend Matt Thornton, and tradebait hillbilly Bobby Jenks all break wills, bats, and buffets on the regular. The White Sox aren't likely to continue to challenge in the Central, but Crazy Ozzie has no worries when his starters carry a lead into the late innings.
1 - Laugh Out Loud.