White Sox still undecided on who will be closer

White Sox still undecided on who will be closer

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- With Matt Lindstrom throwing one inning against the Cubs on Friday, the White Sox have their entire relief corps healthy and throwing for the first time since the start of Spring Training. That delay, in part, has prevented the White Sox from naming a closer to replace Addison Reed.

"Heck, we just finally got Lindstrom in a game the other day," White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper said. "I think in a week from now, after we continue to run everybody out and get Lindstrom going a little bit more, that's a question we might be able to talk about more."

"We've had a lot of guys who have either shown up a little late or were hurt but we still have a ways to go before we do that," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura, who answered, "No, I really don't," when asked if he knew his closer. "We have guys who are capable of doing it. Just to name one right now would be premature."

Nate Jones, who battled through a left glute strain at the start of camp, has made five scoreless Cactus League appearances covering five innings. The right-hander figures to be the favorite to move from the setup role to the ninth inning.

While closer officially is being decided, the White Sox also have to make the call on their final two relievers behind Jones, Lindstrom, Scott Downs, Ronald Belisario and Donnie Veal. Maikel Cleto, who is out of options, seems to have an edge on one, with Mitchell Boggs, Daniel Webb and Jake Petricka among the names for the seventh.

Boggs has a 12.79 ERA over seven games, but the White Sox certainly aren't basing a judgment on a capable veteran solely on Cactus League action.

"You can't base it totally on numbers here in Spring Training," said Ventura, speaking more in generalities then about one particular player. "There is what guys historically do in their career, what you're counting on, so there is a combination of what you see down here in Spring Training and what they've done in their past."

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.