White Sox: Who Will Be Future Closer on South Side?

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 16: Nate Jones /
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White Sox pitcher Nate Jones
DETROIT, MI – APRIL 28: Nate Jones /

Nate Jones

The hard-throwing, Kentucky born right-hander would be the most logical answer if not for a history of injuries. Standing at 6 feet 5 inches tall with a fastball in the triple digits, Jones is a very effective reliever. His unorthodox delivery has yet to be truly figured out by major league hitters. In six seasons, all with the White Sox, Jones has a career ERA of 3.12.

Because of his experience and prior success, Jones should be a unanimous decision for being the closer. However, due to a Tommy John surgery that he had in 2014 along with nerve surgery in 2017, both on his right elbow, Jones has thrown a total of 101 1/3 innings since 2015. On average, that is about 34 innings per season.

Despite the injuries, Jones posted ERA’s of 3.32, 2.29, and 2.31. Very efficient, yes, but inconsistent given that he has only contributed 34 innings per season. He is spending the 2017 offseason rehabbing his surgically repaired nerve, and an ideal scenario would be that he starts 2018 as the closer and goes on to have success and therefore hold onto the role
despite the up and coming future bullpen pitchers.