Chicago White Sox: closer
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As the team prepared to open the 2012 season on Friday against the Texas Rangers, Ventura still refused to say if he had a closer.
"I just do not feel the need to announce it," the first-year manager said. "It's not going to be the same guy all the time. ... It will end up being different at different times of the season."
The Sox start the season with basically four rookies out of the seven bullpen pitchers.
"It depends on how guys do against certain teams and match-ups," Ventura said. "If we had Mariano Rivera I would be able to tell everybody I had a closer."
Part of Ventura's problem is that Matt Thornton may be best suited for both the closers and set- up roles. Thornton has 20 or more holds in four straight seasons, something no other reliever has done over that time period.
Thornton was also the failed team closer to start the 2011 season. After four early blown saves he went back to being a successful set-up man while relative unknown Sergio Santos claimed the job.
"For (the relievers) they understand when they are coming in and when they are likely to be used," Ventura said. "That's enough for them to know."
Manager Ozzie Guillen stopped short of saying Jenks had lost his job by announcing before Tuesday’s game against the Twins that he’ll mix and match his bullpen guys at the end of the game.
“I’m going to leave that open for now with a few choices,” Guillen said. “For our ballclub to be the best one, Bobby has to be our closer.
“But he’s not throwing the way we want him to throw. If [Michael] Cuddyer is up there, Bobby will be out there. I’m not saying he isn’t my closer. It depends on who will be out there. We’ll be open to [changes] until Bobby starts throwing the ball better.”
Guillen’s hottest reliever is Matt Thornton, who has been lethal to all hitters, especially left-handers. The Sox primary set-up man has 25 strikeouts in 15 1/3 innings. He’ll most likely be Guillen’s choice at the end of the game if Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau or Jason Kubel is in a position to tie or win a ballgame.
Jenks has five saves in six attempts and has given up 19 hits in 12 innings. His 2.40 WHIP is the worst among relievers in baseball.