Name: Matt Thornton
Years With White Sox: 2006-2013
Matt Thornton was acquired by the White Sox from the Mariners towards the end of spring training in 2006 in exchange for Joe Borchard. Thornton moved in to the bullpen and, working with pitching coach Don Cooper, started to harness the potential that was in his left arm. He finished the 2006 season with a 5-3 record and a 3.33 ERA in 63 appearances.
2007 was a down year for the White Sox, and Thornton was no exception. In 68 appearances, his ERA skyrocketed to 4.79.
Thornton, and the White Sox, bounced back in 2008. He finished the regular season with a 5-3 record and a 2.67 ERA in 74 appearances. He made 3 appearances in the ALDS, throwing 3 and 1/3 scoreless innings as the White Sox fell to the Rays in 4 games.
2009 saw Thornton continue to be successful in the bullpen. He finished the year 6-3 and notched his second straight sub-3.00 ERA while appearing in 70 games.
Thornton earned his first All Star nod in 2010, despite being a set-up man. In only 61 appearances, his lowest total since joining the White Sox, he finished 5-4 with a 2.67 ERA.
In 2011, Thornton started to show some chinks in the armor. His ERA rose above 3.00 for the first time since 2007, rising to 3.32, and he finished the year with a 2-5 record in 62 appearances. He was given the opportunity to close, but 4 straight blown saves between April 6 and 13 moved him back to the set-up role.
2012 was more of the same for Thornton. His ERA rose again, to 3.46, and his record dropped to 4-10 in 74 appearances, surpassing Bobby Thigpen for the team record in career relief outings. On April 11, he made Travis Hafner the 500th strikeout victim of his career.
Thornton went winless for the White Sox in 2013, and again saw his ERA go up, now to 3.86. He made 40 appearances before July 12, when he was traded to the White Sox for minor leaguer Brandon Jacobs.
Thornton’s numbers in a White Sox uniform, both for games I attended and overall, were: Continue reading →