Sox add depth with Myers deal

July, 21, 2012
7/21/12
7:24
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
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However Robin Ventura wants to stack Addison Reed and Brett Myers, the Chicago White Sox manager now has two capable relievers he can go to in the eighth and ninth innings.

If Jesse Crain, Hector Santiago, Matt Thornton, and Nate Jones can handle the other innings of relief, the White Sox’s bullpen may actually become an asset rather than its recent liability.

[+] EnlargeBrett Myers
Bob Levey/Getty ImagesBrett Myers will add a veteran presence to a young White Sox bullpen.
In Reed, a 23-year-old rookie, the White Sox have the overpowering late-inning reliever. He relies on his fastball and slider to get guys out and has struck out 34 hitters in 34 innings.

Of course, watching Reed can be a rollercoaster. It’s not always that 1-2-3 inning with him. He’s allowed 30 hits and 12 walks. Despite the numerous base runners, he does often come away unscathed. He’s held opponents scoreless in 30 of his 38 appearances this season.

As for Myers, a 31-year-old veteran, his career has seen a bit of everything. He’s been a starter for most of it and was back to closing this season for the Houston Astros after last being a reliever in 2007.

Myers is more of a finesse pitcher. He doesn’t strike out a lot of batters -- he has 20 strikeouts in 30 2/3 innings, but he also doesn’t walk a lot of them -- he has six this season. He relies on a variety of pitches and has greater success against righties than lefties.

Myers’ ERA is up to 3.52, but that’s a bit misleading as he allowed five of his 12 earned runs this season in one appearance. In his 34 other appearances, he’s given up a total of seven runs.

Which of the two pitchers throws the ninth inning shouldn’t matter. They can be interchangeable if that’s best for everyone’s ego.

What matters is the White Sox improved their bullpen and likely increased their chances of winning the American League Central.

“Ultimately, who pitches the ninth inning is Robin’s call,” White Sox general manager Ken Williams said Saturday. “I just felt the men in the clubhouse earned a little help, and we believe in them to the degree to add somebody with experience, that is known as a competitor and fits right along with what we’re trying to accomplish.

“This is no way Robin nor [Don Cooper] nor myself or anyone wavering as far as Addison Reed and our confidence in him. It’s gotten to the point where it’s time to make a push. We get Jesse Crain back now and we got back Gavin Floyd back tomorrow and we got John Danks on the right track and coming along just nicely. We think pretty soon we’ll be at full health, and it’s time to make that push.”
Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Chris Sale
WINS ERA SO IP
3 2.30 29 27
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Ramirez .381
HRA. Ramirez 4
RBIA. Ramirez 14
RA. Eaton 15
OPSA. Ramirez 1.061
ERAC. Sale 2.30
SOC. Sale 29