Spring training storylines: Who closes for Sox?

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Spring training storylines: Who closes for Sox?

With just over six weeks until opening day, Matt Thornton appears to be the early favorite to land the White Sox closer role this spring. More than likely, if the Sox have a lead going into the ninth inning during opening weekend in Texas, it'll be Thornton jogging out of the bullpen to nail down a victory.

That shouldn't make you cringe, regardless of how bad Thornton may have looked last April in the ninth inning. As Thornton says in the Tribune article linked above, he was fairly unlucky in the timing of one of the worst stretches of his career.

Maybe that stretch had something to do with pitching in the ninth instead of seventh or eighth inning, but Thornton doesn't seem to think that's the case. Thornton is a fine reliever, and if given another opportunity to close, he'll probably be okay.

If he's not, though, Addison Reed is probably in the best position to take over the ninth inning -- just like Sergio Santos slid into the closer role after Thornton struggled out of the gate.

There probably won't be a closer battle this spring -- there's not much to glean from a reliever striking out three minor league guys for a save in preseason play. But Reed can begin to build a decent argument to close with success against major leaguers in Arizona -- remember, this is a guy that has only seen 7 13 innings of work at the MLB level.

In the offseason, there was an article written that questioned the White Sox confidence in finding closers. I'm not sure why that confidence needed questioning -- the team hasn't had a hole in the ninth inning since Billy Koch imploded some nine years ago. Since then, Shingo Takatsu, Dustin Hermanson, Bobby Jenks and Sergio Santos have stepped in seemingly from nowhere to successfully finish off games.

And with the stable of power relief arms in the White Sox farm system, there probably won't be a shortage of internal closer options for years to come.

Has Jose Quintana's slow start to the season affected his potential trade value?

Has Jose Quintana's slow start to the season affected his potential trade value?

 

Jose Quintana has not started his 2017 campaign as many White Sox fans had hoped or expected.
 
Through nine games the 2016 All Star has posted just two wins and watched his ERA climb to 3.92 after Wednesday’s loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. 
 
This past offseason, Quintana was frequently mentioned as a possible trade piece for the White Sox who if moved might have brought in other key pieces for the retooling South Siders, much like Chris Sale and Adam Eaton did. 

[WHITE SOX TICKETS: Get your seats right here]
 
Have Quintana’s early season struggles impacted his trade value?
 
White Sox play-by-play announcer Jason Benetti weighed in while appearing on Wednesday’s edition of SportsTalk Live.
 
“Somebody's trade value isn’t contingent necessarily on what he’s doing right now,” Benetti said. “I mean general managers are smart enough to know Jose Quintana is worth X over the course of time and a lot of what trade value has to do with, is what other teams need. So as injuries continue to pile up to other pitchers, if we’re talking about the value of a starting pitcher, the market has as much to do with that as his performance in one specific game.” 
 
Listen to what else Benetti had to say in the video above. 
 

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Jason Benetti stops by to talk the future of the White Sox

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Jason Benetti stops by to talk the future of the White Sox

There's a lot of buzz around the future of the White Sox.

White Sox announcer Jason Benetti joined SportsTalk Live on Wednesday to discuss the team's exciting young prospects and how soon they'll be making their way to the South Side.

Also joining Pat Boyle on this episode of the SportsTalk Live Podcast are the Tribune's David Haugh, Pro Football Weekly's Hub Arkush and WGN Radio's Sam Panayotovich.

The guys also react to Mike Glennon's recent comments and Kevin White’s uncertain status at OTAs.

Plus, they wonder if Kyle Schwarber has finally found his spot in the Cubs' lineup.

Take a listen to the latest episode below: