Robin Ventura hasn’t named a closer, although that may just be a formality — it looks like the White Sox manager will use multiple pitchers in the ninth inning based on matchups:Vodpod videos no longer available.
Given the Sox don’t have anyone with extensive closer experience at the MLB level, this is a refreshing strategy. It’ll allow Ventura to ease Addison Reed into save situations by using him in low or medium-leverage save spots (like a two or three-run lead). And it’ll allow Ventura to pick and choose when to use Matt Thornton, hopefully in the highest-leverage situation (be it the seventh, eighth or ninth inning).
UPDATE: Scott Merkin:
On Thursday’s workout day, pitching coach Don Cooper said there would be no closer by committee. But before Friday’s setback, Ventura said that matchups could determine who actually pitches the ninth.
“At some point, it’s not going to be the same guy all the time,” Ventura said. “And not necessarily you think ahead as a bullpen committee, but a guy coming in the ninth, it will end up being different at some points of the season. Yeah, depending on how guys do versus certain teams and matchups. If we had Mariano Rivera, I’d be able to tell everyone I have a closer.”
That’s awesome! I love it!