In setting up the White Sox bullpen, general manager Ken Williams said Friday that the coaching staff and front-office personnel were in agreement on one thing: They wanted Jesse Crain and Matt Thornton available for the eighth inning and maybe the seventh inning on some occasions.
“We all know in a game that [the] ninth inning doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to have the toughest hitters up,” Williams said. “The situation to win the game might be in the seventh or the eighth inning, so to have those guys available and interchangeable for that kind of fit everything together.”
After that decision was made, the final call came down between rookies Addison Reed or Hector Santiago for closer. Santiago’s screwball to combat right-handed hitters from a left-handed pitcher helped his cause, as did his 95-mph fastball.
“Aggressiveness, and he can spot it from both sides of the plate and then turn it over with a changeup and then the screwball that you can’t really practice,” said Williams of Santiago. “And if you only see it on occasion, it can really screw you up.
“So, I think we were all privately thinking that. Then when we came together for a meeting and the subject was brought up, no one was caught off guard or surprised. So we just kind of came to the deal together.”
Santiago picked his third save in three chances during Friday’s 5-2 victory over the Tigers, striking out two in the ninth inning. Reed made his fourth consecutive scoreless appearance and Thornton made his fifth consecutive scoreless appearance.
April 13, 2012
Agreement on the bullpen by matchup concept
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