Managing increased workload key for young pitchers

Managing increased workload key for young pitchers

CHICAGO -- Nate Jones is fast approaching his career-high for games pitched at 42, with the right-hander having appeared in 28 entering Sunday's series finale with the Brewers. Hector Santiago isn't far off from his high-water mark of 38, sitting presently at 23.

It's a concern for the White Sox how these young pitchers will hold up in August and September, with the extra innings and extra pressure of a contending team. But it's not a present worry.

"That's the one thing of having younger guys," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "You are going into an area they haven't been in yet. It's about playing the game and for them to stay focused. Instead of having them worry about it, we'll think about that stuff."

Jones has allowed seven earned runs on 11 hits in his last seven games, covering five innings, and has a 4.19 ERA over his last 17 appearances. But even with his less-than-best stuff Saturday, Jones still managed to make a big pitch, retiring Ryan Braun on a fly ball to right with the bases loaded in the sixth to keep the White Sox in a game they eventually won.

"To me, he's just another guy I have to attack that I have to throw strikes to," said Jones, who credits the shoulder program of head athletic trainer Herm Schneider and the strength and conditioning program of director of conditioning Allen Thomas for how strong he presently feels. "That's all I try to do. No matter who is up there."