Injury news on the first day of camp is never a good thing obviously. The fact he’s the player who many thought would step into the closer’s role with the departure of Addison Reed this off season, is even worse.
Nate Jones was the choice of most experts to have an edge on becoming the next closer for the White Sox heading into spring training at Camelback Ranch. The strained glute muscle he suffered on Saturday will no doubt delay his crowning, and also gives players such as rookie Daniel Webb, Matt Lindstrom, and maybe Mitchell Boggs if he can return to form and forget the struggles he experienced in 2013.
Jones had a weird season in 2013. With just over six more innings pitched than his rookie season, Jones’ managed to keep most stats similar while giving up several more runs. He actually gave up almost 20 more earned runs than the previous season. That big of an increase in runs surrendered seems large, yet his hits only increased by two, home runs by one, walks actually went down while his strike outs jumped from 65 in 2012 to 89 in 2013.
So how worried is the staff of the Sox about Jones’. According to whitesox.com, Robin Ventura said of the injury, “It’s a minor thing.” He went on to say that they were just being cautious and just wanted him to rest and heal.
The White Sox seem to have a good amount of faith in Jones’. He led the relievers in innings pitches last season, including the aforementioned Reed. At 27 years old, going into his prime, the Sox just want to make sure that he is 100% and can stay healthy for the future since they still have three years of arbitration ahead with him.
According to General Manager Rick Hahn via Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago, “Nate said it started giving him an issue about 7-10 days ago.” The plan will most likely be to keep him out at least a few days and check him over before they decide to have him resume normal activities.
We will keep this story updated as more news arises.