White Sox

Levine: Closer’s Job Still Wide Open For White Sox

Nate Jones. (Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Nate Jones. (Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Bruce Levine Bruce Levine
Bruce Levine covers both the Cubs and the White Sox for CBSChicago.co...
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By Bruce Levine-

(CBS) Less than a week before the season opener, White Sox manager Robin Ventura still isn’t sure who will come out of the bullpen last in save situations to start the season. Due to injury and a new influx of arms, Ventura is taking his time in evaluating his bullpen roles.

Asked if he may start the year with the closer’s role unannounced, Ventura said, “It is possible.”

Nate Jones came into spring training as the favorite to win the job left vacant when Addison Reed was traded over the winter, but Jones pulled a muscle in his lower torso early in camp and has progressed slowly to this point. Matt Lindstrom also missed a lot of camp with an oblique issue.

Maikel Cleto, who was claimed from Kansas City off waivers a few weeks ago, will be on the 25-man roster and have a shot at closing as well. Now out of minor league options, Cleto has intrigued the White Sox brass with his potential to throw 98-100 mph. Young fireballer Daniel Beck has also impressed here in Arizona.

Ventura has been patient before with the closer’s role, as he didn’t name a closer in 2012 until the ninth inning of his first game as White Sox manager in that April. Ventura used hector Santiago to close that first win of the season, and eventually Reed emerged as the closer.

Follow Bruce him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.