Ventura trying to monitor relief corps workload

Ventura trying to monitor relief corps workload

Ventura trying to monitor relief corps workload
TORONTO -- The White Sox have been involved in so many close games this season, and especially of late, that it has forced manager Robin Ventura to use the key members of his bullpen more than he would like.

The White Sox have played 73 games decided by three runs or fewer this season, and of their past 15, 13 have been decided by two runs or fewer -- three of which went into extra innings.

While he isn't concerned, Ventura would like to find ways to limit the workloads of Jesse Crain, Brett Myers and Matt Thornton -- the three who bridge the gap to closer Addison Reed.

"We have close games every night, it's the same guys [who pitch]," Ventura said. "You just try and patch it together and make sure they're staying healthy.

"The good news for me is they want the ball, they want to be able to pitch and they say they're fine."

Ventura said he would try to avoid Myers for Wednesday's game against Toronto, like he did with Crain on Tuesday.

Myers has made a positive impression on his skipper since the White Sox acquired him from the Astros on July 21.

In 13 appearances, the 31-year-old has allowed just one earned run, good for a 0.79 ERA, has a 0.70 WHIP and issued just two walks over 11 1/3 innings.

Myers, after closing for the Astros, has become a setup man for the White Sox and he has also been used as a starter in the past. Ventura described the right-hander as a pro.

"He comes in and knows what he's doing. Not afraid of any situation and that's the plus," Ventura said. "You get a guy with experience, knows what he's doing, has great stuff. It has just made us a better team."

Ventura said the addition of Myers has created some flexibility in the back end of the bullpen, allowing him to better mix and match in certain situations.

Myers' dominance while pitching in the American League for the first time has, not surprisingly, coincided with the recent surge of the rest of the bullpen.

Chicago relievers entered Wednesday's contest with a 1.83 ERA over the past 21 games, while holding opposing hitters to a .197 batting average.

Reed is one member of the White Sox who is pleased with the addition of Myers, and said he has been able to learn a little bit from him, such as how to attack hitters in certain situations.

"He just kind of took me through his mindset," said Reed, whose 21st save Tuesday tied a White Sox rookie record.

"Along with Brett, everybody else in the bullpen, if you need to ask them something, they are more than happy to answer it for you."