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Tuesday, July 13, 2004
Mid-Season Report Card (Pitchers)

With the incredible success of he first installment of the Mid-Season Report Card, there was little chance of me being able to procrastinate my way out of putting together the second half.

I guess the best way to attack this is to divide the pitching staff into it's two logical parts; the starters, and the bullpen.

Starters (through 84 games)
NAME             G GS  W  L   IP   H  ER HR  BB  SO K/9  P/GS  WHIP   ERA

White Sox 84 84 33 28 527 588 291 83 168 328 5.6 100.9 1.43 4.97


NAME             G GS  W  L    IP    H ER HR BB SO K/9  P/GS   WHIP   ERA

Mark Buehrle 19 19 9 2 127.1 143 57 18 25 98 6.93 103.3 1.32 4.03
Jon Garland 17 17 7 5 114.1 110 56 14 39 56 4.41 101.9 1.30 4.41
S. Schoeneweis 15 15 5 7 93.2 99 49 12 40 59 5.67 102.7 1.48 4.71
E. Loaiza 18 18 8 4 120.2 134 64 18 36 69 5.15 107.8 1.41 4.77
Freddy Garcia 3 3 2 1 20.2 20 11 5 3 23 10 111 1.11 4.79
Jon Rauch 2 2 1 1 8.2 16 6 0 4 4 4.15 72 2.31 6.23
Dan Wright 4 4 0 4 17.2 24 16 5 11 6 3.06 88 1.98 8.15
Felix Diaz 4 4 1 2 18.2 27 17 7 6 11 5.30 82 1.77 8.20
Neal Cotts 1 1 0 1 2.1 5 4 2 1 1 3.86 54 2.57 15.43
Arnie Munoz 1 1 0 1 3 10 11 2 3 1 3 91 4.33 33.00


Mark Buehrle -- *** B *** -- Mark has been the anchor of this year's staff. He leads the starters in games started, innings pitched, wins and ERA. He was named AL pitcher of the month in May.

He's been the best starter so far this season for the Sox. So why does he only get a "B"? There's a few reasons. 1) Three starts where he gave up more than 6 ER. 2) 1st inning letdowns in two of those starts. 3) Opponents are hitting him more than I'd like to see. (.285 BAA)

Mark has come into two different games, and seemingly left his head somewhere else. Once vs. NY he fielded a bunt and trotted to first, getting beat by the runner, leading to a 7 run inning; and another time in Montreal, when the Sox had already put a 3-spot on the board in the first half of the inning. To me, this is the most frustrating thing about Mark. He seems to be able to limit damage at any point in the game, but occasionally his head just doesn't seem to be there. If you remove those two innings, Mark's ERA for the rest of the season is 3.23.

Jon Garland -- *** B+ *** -- Whether some would like to believe it or not, Jon was the White Sox most consistent starter in the first half. He had only one terrible game vs. Philly (10 ER in 5 IP), that on a night where I could have hit a HR. He is on pace to throw the most innings of his young career, which should be no problem, as he has thrown 190 innings in each of the last two seasons.

His peripheral numbers show that he is learning what it takes to be a good pitcher in the major leagues. Most importantly his opponent's OPS is at a career best .711. This is especially important because it seems that when Jon gives up the longball he loses, and when he prevents we win.

Scott Schoeneweis -- *** B- *** -- Before the season started, I was cautiously optimistic regarding Schoeneweis' starting for the Sox. I was expecting about 10 wins, and just hoped for him to keep us in every game he pitched.

Out of the gate, Schoeneweis exceeded all expectations, with a 5-3 record and a 3.64 ERA on June 1st. Since then, he has been less than spectacular, going 0-4, allowing 4 or more runs in each of his next 6 starts.

Schoeneweis has pitched 93.2 innings so far this season, 29 more than he threw all of last year, and only 25 short of his season total from two seasons ago. He has already spent one stretch on the DL; I don't know how much more Schoeneweis can be counted on down the stretch.

Esteban Loaiza -- *** C- *** -- How this guy was named to the All-Star team, I'll never know. I was not expecting him to throw another Cy Young-type year like last season, (21 wins, 2.90 ERA), but I did expect him to throw better than he has.

After going 4-0 in April, he has managed just 4-4 since. He currently has the highest ERA of anyone in the rotation. That stat looks even worse when you realize how he feasted on the Devil Rays early in the season. If you take out Loaiza's two starts vs. the Rays, his ERA balloons to 5.33 vs. the rest of baseball. That's just not going to cut it in the second half, or the playoffs.

Freddy Garcia -- *** C *** -- 3 games, 5 HR's, 2 wins. There's not too much to grade on yet, but as long as he can prevent the HR, he will be successful in a White Sox uniform.

Jon Rauch -- *** B *** -- 2 starts; one bad inning. His second start was HUGE for the sox. Finally getting a win for the 5th starters spot, and snapping a losing streak. He seems to have lost favor in the Sox organization. I think he is a big league pitcher now, and he is on his way out of the organization in a trade before he deadline.

Felix Diaz -- *** C *** -- In his first call-up to the bigs, he performed about as expected. There is some talent there, but he seems to leave a few pitches up and over the heart of the plate and they get punished. A little more seasoning in AAA and he'll be a contributing member of the Sox for years to come.

Neal Cotts -- *** C- *** -- He has continually been set up to fail by this organization, and it's amazing that he has succeeded as much as he has. Starter was not his role this season, and the one start he did get was not great.

Arnie Munoz -- *** D *** -- Not much to say about his one start. He let the pressure get to him. No other manager in baseball would have allowed him to continue to throw the ball after the first, or second innings. Quite possibly the worst decision the White Sox made all season, as Munoz has continued to get lit up upon his return to the minors.

Relievers (through 84 games)
NAME           G  W  L Sv Hld    IP   H ER HR BB  SO  K/9 WHIP  ERA

White Sox 81 13 10 18 33 219.2 191 90 26 93 174 7.13 1.29 3.69


NAME           G  W  L Sv Hld    IP   H ER HR BB SO  K/9 WHIP  ERA

V. Darensbour 2 0 0 0 0 1.1 1 0 0 1 0 0 1.5 0
Kelly Wunsch 3 0 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 1 1 4.5 1.5 0
S. Takatsu 32 4 1 5 4 34.2 19 5 2 9 26 6.75 0.81 1.30
Damaso Marte 37 3 2 4 11 40.1 25 11 5 14 35 7.81 0.97 2.45
Jon Adkins 20 2 2 0 0 27 30 10 2 14 19 6.33 1.63 3.33
Cliff Politte 33 0 2 1 12 30.2 29 14 3 14 29 8.51 1.40 4.11
Neal Cotts 24 1 2 0 2 28 22 15 4 16 24 7.71 1.36 4.82
Mike Jackson 27 2 0 0 3 30.1 34 18 6 8 15 4.45 1.38 5.34
Billy Koch 24 1 1 8 1 23.1 24 14 3 16 25 9.64 1.71 5.40
Felix Diaz 1 0 0 0 0 2 5 3 1 0 0 0 2.5 13.5


One more nice little chart for you. This one from BaseballProspectus.com.
CHICAGO WHITE SOX             Park Effect: +0.3%

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pitcher G IP R ARA APR IRnr/G EIRs/G IRP BRS RRA ARP
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Adkins,J 19 26.0 12 4.08 2.0 0.21 0.07 0.4 0.7 4.27 1.5
Cotts,N 24 28.0 16 5.06 -0.9 0.71 0.25 3.0 -0.1 4.21 1.8
Darensbourg, 2 1.3 0 0.00 0.7 0.00 0.00 0.0 0.0 0.41 0.6
Diaz,F 1 2.0 3 13.28 -1.9 0.00 0.00 0.0 0.0 13.46 -1.9
Jackson,M 27 30.3 18 5.25 -1.6 0.59 0.19 -3.0 -0.6 6.20 -4.8
Koch,B 24 23.3 15 5.69 -2.4 0.25 0.09 -1.5 1.0 6.75 -5.1
Marte,D 37 40.3 11 2.41 10.6 0.59 0.21 0.6 0.2 2.44 10.5
Politte,C 33 30.7 15 4.33 1.5 0.58 0.19 -0.8 1.7 5.19 -1.4
Takatsu,S 32 34.7 5 1.28 13.5 0.38 0.11 2.3 0.2 0.78 15.4
Wunsch,K 3 2.0 0 0.00 1.1 1.00 0.30 -1.1 0.0 5.60 -0.2
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
TOTALS 202 218.7 95 3.85 22.5 0.49 0.17 4.10 16.2



Shingo Takatsu -- *** A+ *** -- I shudder to think where we would be without "Mr. Zero." His emergence made the Billy Koch trade possible. He has single-handed made the Sox bullpen go from weakness to strength. It's still not great, but there's not too many in baseball that are better after the 7th inning.

His numbers are staggering, especially when you eliminate his MLB debut in Yankee Stadium. I could rave about Shingo forever, but I'm already getting Carpal Tunnel Syndrome typing this thing, so I'll leave it at this; There is no player, short of Gagne or Rivera, who I would rather have closing out games for me.

Damaso Marte -- *** B+ *** -- Damaso has been Damaso. It's sort of like trying to give Maggs a grade. He's just so consistent that there's not much to complain about.

He was a little shaky early in the season, but has rebounded lately to be his usual self. He may be the player who has benefited the most from Shingo taking over the closers role. He now has a defined role which he has already proven he can thrive in, and he can occasionally save a game if Shingo is unavailable, or the match-ups favor him.

Cliff Politte -- *** B- *** -- He was dynamite out of the gate, then regressed so that you didn't know what to expect when he took the mound. He has also benefited from Shingo taking over the closers role. Since then he has had a defined role as the "goto" guy prior to the 8th inning, where he has flourished.

Jon Adkins -- *** B *** -- He has been a very solid option out of the pen. Supposedly he had a slight injury, which kept him inactive for sometime. Since then he hasn't been all that effective. He has been used in mostly "mop-up" situations so far, and I hope that continues until he can prove that the injury hasn't really affected him.

Neal Cotts -- *** C+ *** -- He was great in the beginning of the season prior to his spot start. Since then he has had trouble avoiding the big inning. He has given up a few key HR's, in key situations.

The one thing that is overlooked about Neal is how effective he really has been. He has allowed only 3 inherited runners to score all year. (Only Damaso Marte has received more inherited runners) His BAA is only bettered by Takatsu and Marte on the staff, and he leads the staff in turning double plays. These are all signs of an effective reliever.

Billy Koch -- *** D *** -- The best thing I can say about Billy Koch is that he is gone. Kenny Williams made a brilliant addition-by-subtraction move in sending Koch to Florida in exchange for a AAA shortstop. The move was the turning point in the Sox season, as far as the bullpen goes. It cemented everyone's role, and showed the guys who were still here that the Sox brass had confidence in them to get the done.

Mike Jackson -- *** D *** -- There is a reason that Mike Jackson did not pitch in the Majors last season. I just hope the Sox have seen why, and they go out and get a guy to take his place, whether it's from the farm or through a trade.

Diaz, Wunch, Darensbourg -- *** INC *** -- I take my cup of coffee with 2 lumps.