One of the biggest questions for the Chicago White Sox heading into the 2011 season is who will be the team’s closer. And it looks like it’s too early to try and answer that question.
“Why would we name a closer on February 10?” White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper said on Thursday’s Mully and Hanley Show. “Bottom line is this, they’ll show us who needs to be closing.”
LISTEN: Don Cooper On The Mully And Hanley Show
Last season Bobby Jenks had 27 saves for the White Sox, but he’s since moved on to the Boston Red Sox. And with no clear cut closer front runner as spring training approaches, there will most likely be an open race once camp commences.
“I think the strength of our bullpen is that we have good left-handed pitching, we have some solid righties that are going to have to come through and flexibility,” Cooper said. “Will Ohman closed games. [Matt] Thornton closed games. [Chris] Sale closed games. We do believe [Sergio] Santos can close a game here or there. Jesse Crain can [close].”
From 2006-10 Jenks was the team’s primary closer, but that wasn’t the case in 2005.
“We talk about this a lot,” Cooper said. “If you remember when we won the championship, we had three different closers that year. So we can mix and match, our strength is our flexibility.”
If there is a front runner for the job it could be Thornton. He had a 2.67 ERA last season with eight saves and was named to the All-Star team.