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Multiple closer options impress Cooper early

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GLENDALE -- After two days of Spring Training, White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper wants to make one point perfectly clear: there is no frontrunner for the team's vacant closer's job.

With that point made, Cooper raved about the way candidate Matt Lindstrom threw in Sunday's side session at Camelback Ranch.

"Lindstrom today, holy [cow], the ball out of his hand; it's got some life to it," Cooper said. Of Mitchell Boggs, he said: "The first time I'm actually seeing him close. Hey, I see what he's doing here. I kind of like it. Oh, knuckle curve."

Cooper added that fifth starter candidate Felipe Paulino is throwing without restrictions after surgery last September to remove a cyst from his shoulder. Paulino and Boggs, to some extent, would qualify as new members of the "Coop can fix him" club, a previously injured or struggling group that Cooper takes great pride in helping turn things around in Chicago.

"I like guys like that; we've done well with that," Cooper said. "If you do well with enough of those, it gives you a chance to keep your job.

"My goal is, I don't care who you are or how many years you're playing. Scotty Downs, I'm looking for you to have the best year you've ever had. I want you to have a career year with us, under my watch. Win. Keep your job, because I like being the pitching coach. We don't succeed on all of them, but I think we've done a pretty good job with it. And I do like those guys."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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