SEATTLE -- Even when White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper was healthy and with the team, bullpen coach Bobby Thigpen was an integral part in all the pitchers-and-catchers meetings. The biggest change for Thigpen during Cooper's absence due to vertigo, an absence which reached 15 games Friday, is that he's now the voice of the staff.
"It's the same material that we go over. It's really the only thing," said Thigpen, referring to him doing the talking instead of Cooper. "Like last year, the only difference is his voice isn't here. His constant bantering is what everyone misses. They miss him in the dugout. I miss being in the bullpen. We have to make the adjustments and do what we have to do."
Thigpen readily admitted that Cooper is better at the talking part, with Thigpen focusing more on individual instruction. But as long as the information is given, the staff simply has to go out and execute better.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura talked to Cooper on Thursday and said that he's feeling better. But Cooper still won't travel for the two-game set in San Francisco.
"He's frustrated, obviously. He wants to be here. He started feeling better in the homestand but he came out and then he would just fade as he was there," said Thigpen of Cooper, who missed 10 games last year due to diverticulitis. "He came Monday, but he was only there for an hour and a half or two hours. He looked worse that day than he had the previous day.
"This has got to be frustrating for him. It's an unknown thing for him. The other thing you know what it was and they could take care of it. This is a wait and see. They are doing different things as far as a rehab stuff. Hopefully he's feeling better by the time we get back. The poor guy. He's trapped in his walls. He wants to get out. That's why he came to the park when we were back there. Hopefully it won't last too long."
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.