Tagged: Sergio Santos

Infielder-Turned-Reliever Santos is the Sox Feel Good Story of the Young Season

Amid the disappointment of the Sox season, we haven’t gotten as excited as we probably should be about the positives. And make no mistake, there have been some things to cheer about–Alex Rios‘ bat and glove, Paul Konerko‘s home run prowess, the starting pitching at times and Matt Thornton in the pen to name a few.
The most pleasant surprise in the early going, though, has been the stunning conversion of Sergio Santos from a minor league infielder who never made the leap to the big leagues to an almost unhittable reliever.
Including his one-inning scoreless stint in the White Sox’ efficient 7-2 victory over the Indians tonight in Cleveland, Santos has made 18 appearances. He has given up only one run, 10 hits, seven walks and has struck out an impressive 21 batters. His ERA is a miniscule 0.52.
I don’t want to get ahead of myself–it’s only May–but from what I’ve seen Santos certainly gives the vibe that he’s tough-minded. If his mastery of A.L. hitters continues, I wouldn’t be surprised that if at some point down the road (not necessarily this year) he will be the successor to Bobby Jenks as the Sox closer.
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Santos before…

Santos after…
















Sox Make It Two Straight, Fans Rejoice


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There’s no truth to the rumor that Major League Baseball is going to move the White Sox to the National League. We can only hope.
Boasting one of the best records since interleague play began, the Sox continued their dominance over the senior circuit by besting the Florida Marlins, 4-1. It was the first time that the South Siders have won two in a row since they swept the Mariners in late April.
Alex Rios, The club’s most consistent offensive performer all season, collected three RBIs, including a two-run homer while Carlos Quentin had two hits and an RBI. Gavin Floyd was much better this time out, going 6 1/3 while allowing a run and six hits with seven strikeouts. J.J. Putz, Sergio Santos and Bobby Jenks, who got the save, were stellar in relief.
It’ll be Freddy Garcia, aiming to continue his outstanding start, facing Marlins’ ace Josh Johnson as the Sox go for the sweep tomorrow.
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Can the White Sox Finally Win Two in Row?

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Eight runs, 12 hits, a scoreless eight innings by Mark Buehrle, a perfect Sergio Santos ninth and a five RBI performance by Alexei Ramirez (above) were the highlights in the 8-0 White Sox victory over the Marlins last night at The Cell.
After entering the game a season-high eight games below .500, the Sox made it an enjoyable evening for Sox fans like me who are starving for something positive.
With Gavin Floyd on the mound, today is pivotal as the Sox try to win two in a row for the first time in a month. It’ll be a small move forward, but we have to start somewhere.
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10 Reasons Why I’m a Happy Camper

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I have to admit that I had little faith in the Sox as they entered the bottom of the ninth inning today, trailing the Mariners 4-2. I’m a glass half-full guy, but I’ve been conditioned by these 2010 Sox to expect the worst.
But the Good Guys pulled it out and I’m ecstatic. Here’s why:
1. Two consecutive walkoff homers–by Andruw Jones last night and Alex Rios today (above)–make me think the Sox are gaining their confidence and establishing themselves as a club that can indeed come back and win.
2. Happily, Rios seems to becoming the player we all thought he would be. He had a key double last night to tie the game and went 3 for 4 today with the walkoff. He’s now hitting .281.
3. Freddy Garcia was terrific–7 innings, 2 runs, 2 hits, 5 strikeouts.
4. Mark Teahen continues to contribute. He was 2 for 3 today, raising his BA to .273.
5. Sergio Santos, the “find” of spring training, pitched another scoreless inning in the eighth. His ERA? 0.00.
6, Alexei Ramirez showed signs of life by doubling in the first two Sox runs.
7. Paul Konerko, as we all know, is frustrating at times with his propensity to hit into double plays, but he also comes up big. Like today, when he hit the solo homer in the ninth to set the stage for Rio’s heroics.
8. The speed at the top of the Mariners’ lineup–Ichiro Suzuki and Chone Figgins–was 0-7.
9. It was satisfying to beat Seattle closer David Aardsma, a miserable failure when he played on the South Side.
10. The thrilling triumph has helped me minimize the woes of Gordon Beckham, A. J. Pierzynski and Carlos Quentin, even though the latter coaxed a walk in the ninth. And, of course, Bobby Jenks who is making a habit out of retiring the first two batters he faces before he loses it.
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“The Lucy Show” and Bullpen Made the Sox Worth Watching

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I guess we should be happy to leave Toronto with a split, but I was hoping for more. Freddy wasn’t ready, the offense reverted to its “first week” form and the Sox lost the chance to win the series and leave Canada with a .500 record. On to Cleveland for, hopefully, better results.
I have to say that the 7-3 defeat Thursday night had a very special moment. Backup catcher Donny Lucy, the Sox player who was forced to endure scooping up my spring training ceremonial first pitch out of the dirt, hit his first career home run (pictured above). The 27-year-old, who has bounced around the minors for six seasons with only a cup of coffee in the bigs (2007), had no chance to make the team this spring until Ramon Castro was put on the DL. All he’s done in his brief action is hit .500–and now a homer. Great story.
The Sox were “get away day” flat, but Lucy’s homer lifted my spirits.
More good news: In addition to Lucy’s solo blast, there was another big positive in the Sox defeat. Four relievers–Randy Williams, Sergio Santos, J.J. Putz and Scott Linebrink–combined for five scoreless innings and 12 strikeouts after Garcia faltered.
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Ozzie: “I Didn’t Know They Had Music in This Clubhouse”

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Leave it to our Ozzie to sum up a situation with a perceptive twist.
Ozzie, of course, was referring to the fact that the White Sox have had little to cheer about recently at Toronto’s Rogers Centre, losing 10 games in a row through 2009. It joined the now defunct Twinkiedome and the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum as the Sox’s personal houses of horror.
All that changed last night, however, as the South Siders continued to snap out of their first week hitting doldrums by smashing the ball and showing some grit in the 8-7 thriller against the Blue Jays to break their Toronto losing streak. It was the third 11-inning marathon in their first seven games–and the first one in which the Sox emerged victorious.
It was comebacker Andruw Jones and the much-maligned Mark Teahen who provided the fireworks. Jones went 3 for 4, clouted two homers and drove in four. Teahen was 3 for 5 and it was also when he delivered. He sent the game into extra innings with a leadoff blast in the ninth and provided the winning run as he tripled in Omar Vizquel (pictured above). Vizquel was running for Mark Kotsay, who had a key single pinch-hitting for Alexei Ramirez in the 11th.
While Jake Peavy had his second straight poor performance, the bullpen came through. Aside from Randy Williams walking in the 7th and go-ahead run in the sixth, Sergio Santos, J.J. Putz, Matt Thornton and Bobby Jenks hurled 5 1/3 scoreless innings. Jenks struggled after getting the first two outs (as he did Sunday) but got the save. Thornton was lights out as he struck out four in two innings of work.
Sox notes of note:  Did you see Ozzie’s reaction right before he yanked Williams after Randy walked in the go-ahead run? I’m not lip-reader, but the expletives were flying…Ozzie’s getting beat up a bit about counting on Jones and Kotsay. Maybe the critics will be quieted, at least for today…It was nice to see that the Sox have the comeback gene. To me, that’s the true sign of a winning ballclub.
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Now pitching for the Royals…Brian Anderson?

Brian Anderson was once the White Sox golden boy who had the opportunity of a lifetime. He was the club’s No. 1 draft pick out of the University of Arizona in 2003 who was given the chance to be the starting centerfielder for the World Champion Sox three years later.  As we know, he never made the grade in Chicago.

That said, there were some memorable moments for the superb defender who was unable to hit consistently. While he wasn’t on the playoff roster his celebration with eventual predecessor Aaron Rowand, captured in the ’05 World Series video after Scott Podsednik‘s walkoff homer in Game 2, will live in Sox lore. His two home run performance off of Felix Hernandez and making the final catch of the “sudden death” game against the Twins to give the South Siders the 2008 AL Central crown are two other memorable instances. And, of course, he has a World Series ring.

Despite these sporadic highlights the Sox simply gave up on BA last summer just prior to the trade deadline, sending him to the Red Sox for Mark Kotsay. Obviously not in Boston’s long-term plans, he signed a one-year deal with the Royals this past offseason.

Despite hitting for the cycle during a 5 for 5 day in spring training, Brian must have seen the writing on the wall and is now heading back to the low minors in an attempt to become a pitcher.

“I’m not sure how that process is going to go, but it’s got to start at the very bottom,” said KC manager Trey Hillman. “We’re milling through that right now. He’s committed to making a go of it. So that’s what we’re going to do.” For the record, BA last pitched in college for Arizona. He was in 17 games with a 5.40 ERA in 21 2/3 innings.

Anderson is no different than hundreds of others in baseball history who were highly touted, but never quite lived up to their supposed potential. Some just didn’t have the talent to stick, others didn’t have the stick-to-it-iveness and still others may have not had the professional maturity. In BA’s case the first and third points seem to apply as he has admitted that he wasn’t ready when the Sox handed him the starting job after the championship season.

Who knows how all of this will turn out. Will it be the second coming of Sergio Santos? For Anderson’s sake, I hope it’s a happy ending.

qnpwnl.jpg                                                   BA in happier times


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