White Sox

Robin Ventura: Nate Jones is 'really important' for White Sox

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Robin Ventura: Nate Jones is 'really important' for White Sox

OAKLAND, Calif. — Don’t be surprised if you see Nate Jones get a few save opportunities this season.

White Sox manager Robin Ventura said Tuesday he’s very impressed with how the tall right-hander has performed over the last month and that he could use him in a variety of roles, including closer.

Jones — who struck out 13 in 8 2/3 scoreless spring innings — entered in the eighth inning of Monday’s game with one out and the tying run on second base. He made quick work of the two batters he faced, including an inning-ending strikeout of Khris Davis. Ventura said Jones, who had reconstructive elbow surgery in July 2014, doesn’t have any restrictions in terms of innings pitched.

“The feeling of having him new is over,” Ventura said. “We knew what he was like before he got hurt. But to have him back and have him able to come in and do that is really important for us. The confidence level of bringing him in being able to throw like that, whether it’s righty, lefty, whoever, we’re going to rely on him quite a bit.”

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Jones, who signed a three-year extension worth $8 million with options through 2021, is expected to be the team’s setup man. He earned his first hold Monday when he took over with a man on second (Jake Petricka issued a leadoff walk) and kept the White Sox in the lead.

Ventura has suggested that Jones, who had a 3.32 ERA in 19 games last season, could sub in for closer David Robertson when necessary.

“I see Nate being able to do a ninth inning if we need to,” Ventura said. “He has that kind of stuff if you need to give Robby a day, Nate can do that.”

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Rick Hahn gives an update on the state of the White Sox rebuild

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Rick Hahn gives an update on the state of the White Sox rebuild

In this episode of the SportsTalk Live Podcast, Danny Parkins (670 The Score), Chris Bleck (ESPN 1000) and Scott King (WGN Radio) join David Kaplan on the panel.

Ryan Pace’s offseason begins. Josh Sitton and Jerrell Freeman are gone, but what will he do with Kyle Fuller?

Plus, Rick Hahn joins Kap from Glendale, Ariz., to discuss the state of the White Sox rebuild, how tough it is to keep their best prospects in the minors and why Jose Abreu is so important for his young team?

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

White Sox Talk Podcast on The Three Amigos: Jimenez, Robert and Adolfo

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast on The Three Amigos: Jimenez, Robert and Adolfo

The White Sox three outfield prospects are creating a lot of buzz at spring training.

On this edition of the podcast, Micker Adolfo tells Chuck Garfien about a conversation they all had about one day becoming the starting outfield for the White Sox. Adolfo talks about his longtime friendship with Eloy Jimenez, his impressions of Luis Robert, Luis Basabe and the White Sox future.

But first, it's a conversation with MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez who has great insight on many of the White Sox players: Jimenez, Robert, Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu. He tells an amazing story about why Jimenez decided to sign with the Cubs when he was a teenager, how much Abreu is revered in Cuba and much more.

Listen to the full episode at this link (iOS users can go here) or in the embedded player below. Subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts.