Cooper lays out bullpen openings

Cooper lays out bullpen openings

CHICAGO -- Any doubts about Addison Reed breaking camp with the 2012 White Sox were pretty much put to rest by pitching coach Don Cooper on Saturday at SoxFest. Speaking during a seminar at the Palmer House Hilton focused on the 2012 team, Cooper stated that four bullpen spots have been secured: Matt Thornton, Jesse Crain, Will Ohman and the hard-throwing right-hander.

Reed becomes a veritable lock even with just 7 1/3 Major League innings under his belt during a September call-up last season.

"I don't believe 7 1/3 innings constitutes a lock," Cooper said. "But we love the 7 1/3 innings he did throw. He showed a lot of stuff that we like. No fear. Threw strikes. Good stuff. I also know the things from seeing him in the big leagues that we need to get more consistent.

"What I'm talking about to Addison Reed is to come ready physically and mentally and do what you gotta do in Spring Training and make the team. If he comes and does what we're expecting him to do, I expect him to get on the plane."

Three bullpen spots remain open, with one of those long relief openings going to Zach Stewart, Dylan Axelrod or possibly Hector Santiago. Cooper said that Stewart will work two or three innings at a time during Spring Training and will even get some split-squad starts.