First Pitch: White Sox vs. Pirates

TV: NBC Sports Chicago


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Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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Joliet Orange Sox

All four Sox batters in the top of the first hit the ball with an exit velocity of 96.6 mph or above. There were no swinging misses by Sox hitters in the top of one. There’s reason for optimism that the Sox will get to Bryse Wilson.


I’m all for Kopech geting innings and innings from here on out. More than just situational.

Let him pitch and pitch.

Last edited 11 months ago by Flitcraft
LuBob DuRob

Nice catch


Obi Wan Yasmani: ‘This is not the strike zone you are looking for.’

I swear.

Edit: Grandal BB.

Last edited 11 months ago by Flitcraft
Joliet Orange Sox

Many people keep calling Kimbrel a sure Hall of Famer.

Entering tonight, Kimbrel has pitched 616.2 innings in his career and has a career bWAR of 21.6.

In just 1971 and 1972 (two seasons!), Wilbur Wood (never a serious HOF candidate) threw 736 innings and was worth 22.4 bWAR.


Closers have a different function than starting pitchers. They pitch far fewer innings but those innings are more pressured. For Hall of Fame purposes, comparing starters and relievers is like comparing apples and oranges (no disrespect to Joliet oranges!). Kimbrel will be compared to the eight closers currently in the Hall of Fame and, as it stands now, he compares favorably to many of them.

Joliet Orange Sox

I understand closers are different. I also think they are not as valuable as other players. This is shown by the fact that top closers make less money than top players at other positions. A top draft pick starter ending up in the bullpen is a disappointment.

Kimbrel’s 616.2 IP is really low. The lowest IP of any closer in the HOF is Sutter’s 1042 IP. It took Sutter 13 years on the ballot to get in the HOF. Trevor Hoffman is the next lowest IP of any HOF closer at 1089.1.

Kimbrel’s HOF case relies completely on saves (he has 372). Will K-Rod with 437 saves be a Hall of Famer? Voters quickly said no to John Franco and his 424 career saves and haven’t yet said yes to Billy Wagner and his 422. Joe Nathan finished with 377 and Papelbon finished at 368. The most similar career player to Kimbrel according to Baseball Reference is Kenley Jansen (who has 342 saves). I’m hoping the Hall of Fame doesn’t open a closer wing in the near future after making pitchers like Blyleven (!) with his almost 5000 innings of greatness spend 14 years on the ballot to get into the HOF.

Last edited 11 months ago by Joliet Orange Sox

No argument with the idea that closers are not as valuable as other players. However, in the closer universe, Kimbrel has a lower career ERA and WHIP than any of the eight closers currently in the HOF. If he continues at his current pace for at least the next 3 or 4 seasons, I think he will wind up in the HOF.

Joliet Orange Sox

I agree Kimbrel compares well with some HOF closers. That said, he is not in the same universe as Mariano Rivera despite slightly better ERA and WHIP over about 1/3 the innings. Rivera is the one closer who is a slam dunk HOF’er in my mind and some the others belong (often for work beyond closing).

I think the HOF voters need to think long and hard about how they’re voting if Kimbrel ends up in the HOF and Greinke ends up languishing on the ballot. Greinke’s one Cy Young award and 219 wins is the kind of all-time great pitcher the HOF sometimes struggles to recognize.