By Bruce Levine-
U.S. CELLULAR FIELD (CBS) — Remember the name Daniel Webb. Okay, so at this point the reliever is not a household name on the South Side, but as the season progresses, there is a chance he will be the club’s next closer.
Webb is and will continue to be the next Don Cooper project. Cooper has proved to be both an intuitive teacher as well as a positive-thinking expert. Since 2002, the Sox pitching coach has given more than his share of pitchers his signature pitch: the cut fastball.
“I have been working with the coaches on my cutter,” Webb told me. “I still haven’t used it much in a game.”
Webb came from the Blue Jays organization in a deal for Jason Frasor in 2012. He is a converted starter who pitched at all three classifications in the White Sox system last season before getting a September call-up to the major league club. Webb impressed the coaching staff with his ability in his nine game audition last season.
This spring, Cooper was waiting for him with open arms in Glendale, Ariz.
“First you have to have talent,” Robin Ventura said about his pitching coach’s ability to help young pitchers. “Webb has that and he has a certain way about him. He has confidence and is aggressive. We are pretty pleased with him.”
Webb is respectful of Matt Lindstrom and his claim to the closer’s role at this juncture.
“I always wanted to be a closer since I was switched to the pen,” said Webb “It is now a goal of mine some day. Until that time I will go ahead and work hard at whatever role they have for me.”
Webb had 10 minor league saves in 2013.
“There is no doubt closing up here is very different,” he said. “The last three outs of the game are really tough up here. I am in no rush to get there. I have a lot to learn up here, so I will keep pitching and doing what they want me to do.”
The Sox and Cooper have taken plenty of raw talent and made them closer’s and power set up men. Web appears to be the next in line.
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.