Kenny Williams doesn’t want relievers to be tied to a specific point in games (like on the last 3 outs):
Manager Ozzie Guillen didn’t specify if Sale would become the White Sox closer or be used in a setup role. For Williams, late-inning relief is all about getting important outs. So, if Matt Thornton is chosen as the closer but is needed in the eighth, then the roles will have to be adjusted.
“It’s a great scenario if Matt Thornton is the guy because of what he has been doing for the White Sox,” Guillen said. “Sale has great stuff to be the closer. A couple of guys out there have closed before. Right now, it’s too early for me to say whether this guy is going to be the closer or not.”
UPDATE: Gonzo has a quote from Kenny:
“Sometimes that means in seventh inning if Moreau and Mauer are coming up, maybe the guy you have tabbed as your ‘closer’ is better for that situation versus the ninth, when you have the No. 9-1-2 or 8-9-1 (hitters) coming up,” Williams explained. “Right now, we have a situation where people have earned right to pitch the last inning or last couple of innings. Fortunately we have some candidates.”
Gregor @ DH:
It’s just the first day of camp, and Kenny said he expects a “blip” with Jake Peavy’s comeback this spring.
But it’s sounding more and more like Peavy could be ready to go on April 10, when the White Sox first need a fifth starter.
Peavy threw a 40-pitch (fastball, changeup) bullpen today.
UPDATE: Merkin @ CWS:
Peavy wants to be looked at as a starting pitcher building for the regular season and not a talented hurler answering questions as he comes back from a serious and rare injury. That sentiment has been texted throughout the offseason by Peavy to general manager Ken Williams, with Peavy sharing nothing but a positive outlook on his comeback.
“He really has been kind of annoying and he’s gung-ho,” said Williams with a laugh. “Put it this way, if you are sending the Marines into battle, this is the guy you want giving the speech to get you riled up.
“It’s our job to make sure that competitive nature doesn’t get the best of him, get him to the point where he’s doing something more premature than he should. We will watch him closely and be very cautious dealing with him as I explained to him today.
“Whenever he gets out there, we want him at 100 percent,” Williams said. “We don’t want him to start at 80 percent and then stay at 80 percent because he hasn’t given himself that extra three weeks or month.”
UPDATE #2: Peavy says:
“But I’m going to listen to my body and at the same time push it as hard as I can push it,” more Peavy.
Chuck Garfien @ CSN tweets:
Kenny Williams makes it official. Chris Sale will start the season in the bullpen.
other Garfien tweets:
KW wants three lefties in the bullpen to go after the tough lefty hitters in the Central division.
Ozzie says that he’d prefer that Thornton be the Sox closer, but will take his time to make a decision.
Peavy threw 40 pitches off the mound. Said he felt “free and easy.” Good first day.
Until Peavy is ready, Sox will fill gap with off days and a couple possible candidates. Ozzie forgets their names.
Merkin says their names are Phil Humber, Charlie Leesman, Jeff Gray or Lucas Harrell.
BTW, now we know the answer to the previous post, Did Kenny Williams change Don Cooper’s mind on Chris Sale? No, he didn’t.
UPDATE: Merkin expands on the bullpen-starter decision:
The 22-year-old rookie had been in discussions as a possible temporary replacement for Jake Peavy in the fifth starter’s spot, assuming Peavy’s road to full recovery from season-ending surgery to repair a torn latissimus dorsi muscle in his right shoulder doesn’t lead him to Opening Day. But during organization meetings involving the White Sox front office and coaching staff held Thursday morning, it was decided the White Sox were best armed with Sale as a full-time reliever on the heels of his stellar 1.93 ERA posted out of the bullpen in 2010.
That decision won’t alter the White Sox decision to use Sale as a starter in Cactus League action, a plan Williams believes will be best-served for the southpaw’s overall development.
“This is very important because I had to explain this to my coaching staff as well,” Williams said. “The reason I had Chris Sale prepare as a starter is because that’s what he has done his whole life.
“So if you now tell him to prepare differently, might you not see the guy you last saw in September? We want him to prepare as he did so we can expect the same guy to show up. That means using all of his pitches and building him up as a starter.
“He has shown he can transfer that to a relief role,” Williams said. “Had we said he’s going to be a reliever from Day 1, might he prepare as a reliever and not build his arm up and legs up? We want him to be the best guy we just saw.”