CHICAGO -- Thursday's off-day and Tuesday's weather cancellation in Cleveland has provided a nice respite for the young relievers in the White Sox bullpen, currently leading the American League with a 1.76 ERA. But the White Sox find themselves in a stretch of 17 straight games until the next break on April 30.
Rookies Addison Reed, Hector Santiago and Nate Jones, as well as second-year man Zach Stewart, will be watched in regard to their workloads, according to pitching coach Don Cooper. But it doesn't sound as if they will be babied or overly protected.
"Listen, we'll use guys every day in wining situations," Cooper said. "If there's a guy that we are asking a lot of, maybe three in a row, if they pitch that third day in a row, maybe we will give them a day or two off automatically.
"We are playing the games as they come. Each guy knows where he's going to be pitching. We want their availability every day, but we also know the guys we'd like to give a day off if we can."
All four of these pitchers have less than 68 days of big league service time. But they are viewed more as Major League contributors than young unknowns.
"They are all here because we feel like they can help us win," Cooper said. "We have [three] rookies. There's going to be some ups and some downs. We've got to keep the downs to a minimum. But each one of them is throwing like a Major Leaguer."