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Matt Thornton is the “frontrunner” to close for the White Sox

Feb 3, 2011, 12:55 PM EDT

Thornton Guillen

There are no shortage of closer candidates in the White Sox’s bullpen, particularly if Chris Sale begins the year as a reliever, but Scott Merkin of MLB.com calls Matt Thornton the “frontrunner” for ninth-inning duties in Chicago.

Thornton has long been one of the elite setup men in baseball, posting a 3.19 ERA and 349 strikeouts in 311 innings since joining the White Sox in 2006, and saved a career-high eight games last season as the White Sox relied less and less on Bobby Jenks.

In the past manager Ozzie Guillen has shown a willingness to mix and match relievers based on the handedness of the batters at the plate, even in the ninth inning, and the White Sox certainly have enough depth to go that route with Thornton, Chris Sale, and Will Ohman from the left side and Jesse Crain, Sergio Santos, and Tony Pena from the right side.

  1. spudchukar - Feb 3, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    I’d say the Pale Hose are lookin’ to move Sale into a starter’s role.

  2. finaltable82 - Feb 4, 2011 at 3:00 AM

    The White Sox could do good but they lost Freddie Garcia.

    Sure this is a fix you can fix, but I don’t see it being fixed. All I see is cubbie hope for sale
    and maybe Pena who wanted a starters job.

    Jenks was iffy we got rid of him, but Guillen is and always be iffy as a pitching coach.
    I don’t see much hope in him

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