Schuster: Reed, Crain And Thornton Battling For Closer Job

By David Schuster-

GLENDALE, Ariz. (CBS) — Much like on the other side of town, the White Sox seemingly have little competition with their starting positional players but there are a number of open spots on the pitching staff.

Specifically with the Sox, the competition is in the bullpen and even more specifically the closer’s role. The battle is between three guys: Matt Thornton, Jesse Crain and Addison Reed.

Though Reed is the youngest and least experienced of the three, he likely is the leader for the job going into Spring Training. He’s a hard throwing right-hander who in his brief time with the Sox last September struck out 12 while walking just one. The Sox have had a history of bringing guys out of nowhere to be their closer and Reed could be their latest.

As for the other two guys, Crain didn’t hide his feelings.

“That’s going to be up to the coaching staff but they know how I feel about the opportunity,” he said. “I can’t control anything other then going out and pitching. I’m sure they have someone in mind but we’ll see what happens and I’m going to give them something to think about.”

Meanwhile, Thornton was handed the closer’s role at the beginning of last season and didn’t have much success.

“I had a bad five or six weeks in my career at the really worst time,” Thornton said. “I was given an opportunity by Ozzie to be the closer last year and I blew it. I didn’t get the job done but I did bounce back and had a good last few months of the season and threw the ball well.”

Thornton learned from last year’s experience and would like a second stab.

“If I get a shot at the closer’s role I would enjoy it and I would like another chance to prove that I can do it,” he said.

For more White Sox spring training coverage from Glendale, Ariz, click here. Find all of David Schuster’s spring training blogs here and follow him on Twitter (@schumouse).

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