A month ago, the White Sox' bullpen was veteran left-hander Matt Thornton, six rookies and a lot of worries.
Times have changed … for the better.
The Sox still have three rookie relievers -- closer Addison Reed, Nate Jones and Leyson Septimo -- but Jesse Crain is back from the disabled list and pitching well and Phillip Humber has been moved from the starting rotation to the bullpen.
Brett Myers has provided the biggest boost.
Acquired from the Houston Astros in a July 21 trade, Myers has been nothing short of spectacular since joining the White Sox. The veteran right-hander has made 9 appearances and pitched 7 scoreless innings.
Moving from the last-place Astros to the first-place Sox has revitalized Myers.
"It's a huge difference," Myers said. "It takes the adrenaline level and everything else that comes along with these big games and trying to win series and stuff like that, it puts it at a whole new level.
"I'm a competitor. That's the way I was raised and that's the games I enjoy being in. In Houston, they mattered to me still, but when you're fighting for something a little bigger than what they were doing, it's definitely a better situation."
Myers was the Astros' closer, and he got the job done while saving 19 games in 21 opportunities. He has been working the seventh and eighth innings for the Sox, helping Thornton and Crain get the ball to Reed in the ninth.
"Brett stretches us out a little bit more," manager Robin Ventura said. "He's done a great job for us. All the guys down there are coming in and consistently battling and giving us a chance to win."
Myers and the other White Sox relievers have a 1.45 ERA over the last 17 games. Reed has had some predictable struggles that come with being a rookie, but Myers isn't preparing to resume his old role.
"I don't think it matters if he's a rookie or not," Myers said. "He's pitched in that role in the minors. If they didn't think they could do the job he wouldn't be here, so that's what he's bred to do. If he keeps his composure out there he'll be fine."