The White Sox continued their Extreme Bullpen Makeover on Thursday when they acquired lefty reliever Dan Jennings from the Miami Marlins in exchange for Andre Rienzo.
Jennings, who will be 28 early next season, is a guy who can maybe hopefully do a better job of retiring hitters than letting them get on base, which is something the White Sox bullpen struggled with in 2014. His numbers in Miami — on the surface — are solid as he posted a 1.34 ERA and 3.48 FIP in 40.1 innings. His K/9 was 8.5 and his BB/9 was 3.8, which is almost identical to what he posted in 2013. He features a 93-mph four-seamer to go along with a slider at 83 mph.
White Sox LHP Dan Jennings' career splits: vs. RHH .238/.322/.389 vs. LHH .289/.354/.403— Dan Hayes (@CSNHayes) December 11, 2014
As you can see from the above Dan Hayes tweet, Jennings doesn't fit the typical LOOGY profile.
Nonetheless, he features solid strikeout numbers and a propensity to garner more ground balls than fly outs when contact is made, making him an ideal fit for the White Sox bullpen, especially when the price was a pitcher who was quickly taking over the Dylan Axelrod spot of pitcher continuously being thrown out for spot starts despite being terrible.
Rienzo showed flashes of competence during his 2013 debut with the White Sox but, after posting solid numbers at Triple-A in 2014, failed to put it together at the major league level. During parts of two seasons with the White Sox, he consistently failed to find the plate, walking 61 hitters in 120 innings.
The acquisition of Jennings means the White Sox bullpen is coming closer to completion. Add Jennings to other free agent signings Robertson and Duke and that only leaves a few spots for the likes of Jake Petricka, Zach Putnam, Daniel Webb, Javy Guerra and whomever else the White Sox plan to give a shot to win a spot.