Stone: Too Early To Pull Plug On Thornton
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Matt Thornton hasn’t got off to the best start for the 2011 season. In his 3.1 innings pitched, he’s allowed seven hits and walked two and given up six runs, although only one of them was earned.
His poor start has caused some Chicago White Sox fans to wonder who’s the right player to be the team’s closer.
“In the short-term it should be Matt Thornton,” Steve Stone said in the Mully and Hanley Show. “He has a couple days off, he should be ready to go, and we’ll see how he performs against the Oakland ball club coming in. But until he shows conclusively that he can’t do it, he’s going to be the guy that they give the ball to at the end. Now last year he had some success, I think he had eight saves, I think it’s too early to pull the plug on him.”
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Other than Thornton, the team’s options for closers come down to Chris Sale, Jesse Crain and Sergio Santos, and none of those players have much experience as a major league closer.
“Jesse Crain has three lifetime saves,” Stone said. “He’s not the guy, for me, that you would put in there, because…his comfort zone is as a setup guy. Sergio Santos, when you look at his stuff, seems to be the logical guy. But then you go back to the fact that he’s only in his second year of pitching. That makes it tough becuase you have a little more adrenaline, you have the tendency to try and throw the ball a little harder than you really should, and consequently your control suffers. So it’s a long way to go to tell you there is no answer right now.”