Ventura mulling three-way closing committee

Ventura mulling three-way closing committee

CHICAGO -- Who's pitching the ninth? That's been a question asked of first-year White Sox manager Robin Ventura all season.

For one week, it looked like he had an answer: Chris Sale. Now that Sale is back in the rotation, the subject cropped up once again during Ventura's pregame press conference on Friday before the series opener against the Royals.

So who's the closer?

"Whoever ends up in the ninth inning," Ventura said. "We're back to that."

Rookies Addison Reed and Hector Santiago, plus veteran lefty Matt Thornton have all saved games so far this season, and Ventura said he'll continue to play mix and match with that trio.

"Addy had looked great at it," Ventura said. "With Jesse [Crain] being on the DL, it kind of moves people around a little bit. The last week, we kind of moved some people around in that role. I don't see that changing.

"We've got the opportunity to use Matt, Addison and Hector in that role. You're seeing what [opponents] are lined up with and [we'll] go from there."

Santiago has had the most save chances among the relievers, converting four of his six opportunities. However, he sports a 5.73 ERA and has allowed 17 hits in 11 innings. Reed, who entered the season as Chicago's top prospect, hasn't allowed a run in 10 innings, and is 2-for-2 in save chances.

"That's not an easy role," Ventura said. "With the amount of young guys that we have out there, it's just not a thing where we don't monitor. You always constantly monitor them. We have some guys doing very well in the situations they're brought in."

Thornton is 1-for-2 in save chances, and will likely be used only when the opponents have a string of lefties due to bat in the ninth.

"Addison's done well, so you probably look for him if they have a bunch of righties coming up," Ventura said. "You probably look for Matty if they have a bunch of lefties coming up. If it's a mix, we'll probably have Hector."