SEATTLE — Whether its the reemergence of Nate Jones or starters who have pitched deep into games of late, the rest of the White Sox bullpen has seen a reduced workload.
And they’re not complaining.
With Jones back in the mix pitching key innings and the club’s starters averaging nearly seven innings over the past 13 games, the bullpen’s workload has been reduced at a point in the season when arms get tired. So while you might expect relievers to vie for any inning they can get their hands on, veteran Matt Albers said the group has enjoyed the respite.
“With the starters going seven and eight innings, it only seems like there’s one or two innings to pick up,” Albers said. “It’s actually a good thing. We’ll take our rest. We know as a bullpen you’ll eventually get your work in, it comes in spurts.”
[SHOP: Buy a White Sox jacket]
The most recent segment of games has seen White Sox starters working deep into games. Not since Jeff Samardzija couldn’t escape the fifth inning on Aug. 8 has a White Sox starter completed fewer than six innings. Over their last 13 games, White Sox starters have thrown 89 1/3 innings, an average of 6.87 per start.
Fewer innings and strong performances from Jones has given manager Robin Ventura more flexibility and another big arm to pitch in key spots.
But Ventura isn’t fooled into thinking he’ll have this situation the rest of the way. All he has to do is look back to earlier this month when Samardzija and Chris Sale had several bad starts in the same turn of the rotation as a reminder.
“They’ll get their work,” Ventura said. “Any time you think you have a luxury in baseball I think you pay for it. I think with Nate coming back and really what he’s been able to do and how he looks when he goes out there, he pretty much slides into the eighth inning and everybody else moves down. So depending on where those guys go and how it works, depending on the lineup and everything else, they’ll get their work, we’re not worried about that.”