CHICAGO -- White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper watches all of the side sessions thrown by his starting pitchers. But he also takes special interest in the sessions thrown by the White Sox young relievers, such as Nate Jones prior to Saturday's contest.
"It's good for me because I can continue to see right there first-hand what we are doing," Cooper said. "We talk about things. We work on things. It's kind of nice."
Everything Cooper and the White Sox do with rookies such as Jones, Addison Reed, Jose Quintana and first-year starter Chris Sale, to name a few, serves as "foundation stuff," according to their coach. It's building blocks for the future, while trying to maintain the club's standing atop the American League Central.
During the course of this season, the White Sox have had 10 rookie pitchers on their roster. It has been a challenge Cooper has enjoyed.
"I find myself really pulling for them because you want that work to pay off in the game," Cooper said. "You really want them to do well. Even if they don't, I haven't lost patience on days they don't pitch very well or as well as we would like.
"Those guys have done one heck of a job. Think about the injuries we've had as far as [John] Danks, Philip [Humber], [Jesse] Crain, Gavin [Floyd] for a while, and the loss of [Mark] Buehrle's 210 innings, the loss of [Sergio] Santos, another 50 innings.
"That's a lot of innings that we've lost," Cooper said. "They are being made up by Quintana, Reed, Jones, [Hector] Santiago, [Dylan] Axelrod, [Brian Omogrosso], all rookies. They've done a very good job, and we've got more to go."