White Sox

Cooper: Thornton Needs To Be ‘Ultra Aggressive’

Matt Thornton

Matt Thornton (Photo Credit: Getty Images, By: Jonathan Daniel)

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CHICAGO (WSCR) After being named the team’s closer in spring training, Matt Thornton had a rough start to the 2011 season. He gave up eight earned runs in 8.1 innings in April, but began to turn his season around in May.

“I know how the season has gone from the beginning with him,” White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper said on the Mully and Hanley Show. “There’s been some tough luck and there’s been some inconsistent pitches and tough luck involved in there, you know. But he’s physically throwing the ball well, I just want him to get ultra aggressive, early in the count, attacking the zone.

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“My pet peeve is I see too many balls early in the count. You know, Matt’s success is attacking early, attacking late, and he hasn’t been attacking early to dictate who’s boss. There’s been too many balls and walks.”

In 9.1 innings pitched in the month of May, Thornton only allowed three earned runs, lowering his ERA by nearly three full points.