Santiago looks to thrive in middle-relief role

Santiago looks to thrive in middle-relief role

DETROIT -- The reaction of Hector Santiago on his move from closer to middle relief was somewhat akin to Chris Sale's reaction on his move from starter to closer. Santiago certainly was enjoying his time as the ninth-inning choice but is ready for whatever the White Sox have in mind.

"That's their call," Santiago said. "I have no control over what they say or what they do."

Although manager Robin Ventura doesn't see starting in Santiago's immediate future, it's a job the left-hander eventually would like to tackle. He doesn't feel the need to stretch out presently in order to pitch anywhere from two to five innings, and will try to use his big league lessons learned on future outings.

"You can't make as many mistakes as you could this spring," said Santiago, who has thrown 45-50 pitch bullpen sessions, which he used to explain his confidence in transitioning seamlessly to long relief. "At that point, hitters are still trying to get ready and they weren't ready. Here, you make a mistake, and they're going to make you pay for it."

Santiago was called to close out the ninth inning of Saturday's 3-2 victory against the Tigers. But after allowing the tying and go-ahead runners on base, Ventura brought in Addison Reed, who struck out Austin Jackson for the final out.