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Sore Nate Jones will take a seat for a few days

Updated: March 18, 2014 6:28AM



Closer candidate Nate Jones has a pain in the butt. Nothing more, nothing less, just a minor aggravation that will keep him on his seat while the other White Sox pitchers throw during this first week of spring training.

Jones downplayed the gluteus muscle strain that is expected to sideline him into the middle of the week. He isn’t sure how the issue originated, other than to say it began in the last 7-10 days “with a little discomfort” he felt while throwing.

Jones said without a doubt he would have pitched through it had it occurred during the season. The plan is for plenty of treatment from trainers Herm Schneider and Brian Ball, no exercise and allow time to let it calm down. He expects to be throwing again in a few days.

“They’re working me hard, and that’s a good thing,’’ Jones said. “I want to get back as quick as I can.

“It’s spring training, so we’ve got time to fix it and let it calm down, let it settle down. Once I get back out there, I’m still going to compete and attack and go after that job just like everybody else.’’

On gays in MLB

Manager Robin Ventura said he expects an openly gay baseball player will follow football All-American Michael Sam’s lead before too long.

“Hopefully he’s a really good player,’’ Ventura said. “That’s the first thing we would look at. But it’s grown to that point where it’s going to happen. I’m sure I played with one. I’m not naïve enough to think it didn’t happen. But to have it openly in the locker room, I don’t see it as big an issue as it has been in the past.

“I think it would be like anything. It would take the first person to come out and say it but then you adjust. I don’t think it would be a big change as far as the way guys are and the way the game is right now. Again, there’s been one in the locker room. It has already happened, it hasn’t openly happened.’’

This and that

Pitching coach Don Cooper made it clear that there is no leading candidate to be the closer. One of them, Matt Lindstrom, impressed Cooper on his first day of throwing.

◆ An 11-man pitching staff could put something of a strain on the starters and relievers, but manager Robin Ventura said the possibility could be explored. It would provide some desired flexibility and depth on Ventura’s bench.

◆ Rotation candidate Felipe Paulino, who hasn’t pitched since 2012 because of elbow and shoulder issues, is throwing without restrictions, Cooper said.



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