By Bruce Levine-
(CBS) If reliever Nate Jones is going to claim the closer’s role for the White Sox, he will need better luck as spring training develops. Jones came up lame with a strained upper leg injury as the White Sox camp opened this weekend.
General manager Rick Hahn said on Saturday that the Jones injury wasn’t considered serious. The organization wants to be cautious with the pitchers early spring problem and will give him extra time if necessary to get back to 100 percent.
Jones has a leg up on the competition in trying to replace Addison Reed as the team’s closer. Reed was moved to Arizona for third base prospect Matt Davidson during the offseason.
Jones has been getting treatment by the training staff over the past couple of days. Mitchell Boggs and Matt Lindstrom are backup candidates to close behind Jones.
Jones said he is not doing any baseball activities until the strain is calmed down.
“It started as a little discomfort and just didn’t get any better,”Jones said after treatment Sunday. “I told (the trainer } about it so we could get ahead of the injury.”
This injury is precisely the pain in the butt that the White Sox are trying to avoid early in spring camp. If this was August, Jones said he would have pitched through the strain.
Bruce Levine is a baseball reporter/analyst for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.