Cooper: Closer Role Up For Grabs

(WSCR) When the White Sox traded Sergio Santos to the Blue Jays, they didn’t just lose one of their best young pitchers.

The club lost its closer, and with no sure-fire replacement, the team must rely on its existing arms to fill the ninth-inning void.

“On our club, the viable candidates are going to be Matt Thornton, Jesse Crain and possibly Addison Reed,” White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper told The Mully and Hanley Show. “We’ve talked about it a little bit, but we’re pretty much going to let everybody pitch and then we’re going to make a decision. In about three weeks, we’ll have more to talk about, but for now, these guys are just going out there and pitching.”

LISTEN: Don Cooper on The Mully and Hanley Show

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Another key storyline for the White Sox during this spring training is the path of Chris Sale. The pitcher in his third season with the club is making the jump from the bullpen to the starting rotation.

“I’m kind of welcoming the challenge,” Cooper said “He’s throwing the ball well and that’s the main thing. He’s working on change ups, working on his breaking ball to both sides of the plate for strikes. Let’s face it: being a starting pitchers, you’re in charge of 120 pitches. As a reliever, if you’re a closer, it might be 15 or 20. If you’re a middle guy, it might be 45. If you’re a long guy, it might be 60. There’s more responsibility with the more pitches that your job description holds. We want him to be able to handle that.

“I’ll say this: Chris Sale is under no restriction as we speak. He’s going to go out there and pitch and get the full gamut of experience.”

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