Identity crisis: White Sox don't know who will take over in ninth

Identity crisis: White Sox don't know who will take over in ninth
June 28, 2014, 11:30 am
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TORONTO -- Perhaps they have a closer in mind, but in an attempt to avoid a new tryout every week, the White Sox will handle the role by committee for now.

Manager Robin Ventura has made no proclamations about who will handle the ninth inning as of Saturday morning, only that Ronald Belisario won’t.

Considering the White Sox are on to their fourth option, that’s probably the easiest way to handle a shaky situation. So while it could be rookies Jacob Petricka or Daniel Webb or veterans Zach Putnam or Javy Guerra, Ventura doesn’t want to say for now.

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Or, more likely he and the White Sox just don’t know who is ready to assume the role at this point.

“We don’t really have one,” Ventura said. “We’re going to use whoever we need to use depending on the situation, matchups, usage, whatever it is. We’re just at a point where we’re going to use who we think is going to fit best in that spot.”

Petricka is 2-for-2 this season, having stepped in twice for the current closer to rescue a game. He took over for Matt Lindstrom after his May 19 injury and got out it and did the same for Belisario in Friday’s 5-4 win.

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Guerra has experience in the role, having closed out 21 of 23 games for the Dodgers. The White Sox like Webb’s mindset and Putnam has been their most consistent reliever to date. Even Eric Surkamp, who made his second career relief appearance on Friday, could find himself in a save opportunity.

That’s the kind of situation you find yourself in when Lindstrom and Nate Jones, your two best relievers before this season, get injured during the season.

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“You realize a lot of stuff is going to happen during the year,” Ventura said. “You don’t expect Lindstrom to go down with an injury that he went down with. That’s not stuff you expect. Do you expect there’s adversity and guys moving around and doing things? Yeah. That’s always up there. Where we’re at right now is we can use anybody late in the game. That’s what they need to be ready for.

“It’s everybody. If for some reason there’s a matchup that it’s Surkamp, it’s Surkamp. (Pitching coach Don Cooper) and I talking about it last night and today, we’re going to use who we think we need to use to win the game, at any point in the game, whether it’s early or late.”