- Scott Powers, Reporter
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CHICAGO -- Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura said Friday the closer role will be performed by a committee of pitchers depending on the game’s situation.
Chris Sale was named the White Sox’s closer on May 4 after the team decided to move him out of the starting rotation and into the bullpen due to elbow tenderness. But the Sox announced Friday that Sale will return to a starting role.
“Whoever ends up in the ninth inning,” Ventura said when asked who is closer would be. “We’re back to that. … I think it’s more of you see what they’re lined up with and go from there.”
The White Sox have used four different pitchers in save situations this season. Sale, a lefty, was used Tuesday and blew the save in his lone opportunity. Left-hander Hector Santiago picked up four saves in six opportunities, but he has allowed five home runs and has a 5.73 ERA. Matt Thornton, a lefty, has converted one save in two opportunities. Right-hander Addison Reed, who hasn’t allowed a run this season, has two saves in two chances.
“I think that’s not an easy role,” Ventura said. “With the amount of young guys we have out there, it’s not a thing we don’t monitor. You always constantly monitor them.
“We have some guys doing very well in the bullpen in the situations they’re brought in. Addison has done well. You probably look at him if they got a bunch of righties coming up. You probably look for Matty (Thornton) if there’s a bunch of lefties coming up. If there’s a mix, you might have Hector.”
General manager Ken Williams likes the multiple possibilities the White Sox have for closer as well.
“There’s a difference between evolving without talent and evolving with talent and a number of possibilities for back end of the bullpen solutions,” Williams said. “There’s a huge difference. If these guys have shown one thing, it’s that they have a very high ceiling back there. That’s one reason to give us optimism.”
Robin Ventura said he will go back to using a closer-by-committee setup.