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Second save in a row pushes Santos closer to permanent closing duty

The Sports Xchange
Notes, Quotes · Second save in a row pushes Santos closer to permanent closing duty · Roster Report

There is no question now that Sergio Santos is the White Sox's closer for the immediate future after the second-year right-hander nailed down his second save in as many nights Tuesday.

He got some help from Brent Lillibridge, who made two stellar catches in right field to secure Chicago's 3-2 win over the Yankees, and Santos' ERA remained 0.00. He didn't allow a run this spring in the Cactus League, and now he's pitched scoreless ball through his first nine appearances and 11 2/3 innings in the regular season.

Even so, manager Ozzie Guillen would like to see a bit more from Santos before he comes out and says, yes, Santos is the permanent closer.

"Right now, we are excited about what happened. I like what I saw," Guillen said. "Our coaching staff liked what they saw. (GM) Kenny (Williams) liked what he saw, but don't shoot for the moon yet. In the meanwhile, this kid, his makeup is pretty good. Hopefully he continues to do that, and we'll see when we are going to make the move."

The concern with Santos is his inexperience. Santos was a shortstop until the 2009 season, when he switched to pitching, and he came quickly through the organization.

He does have three good pitches and a fastball in the 96-98 mph range, so even if he does make a mistake, his velocity gives him room for error.

"I have to be careful how I'm going to handle him," Guillen said. "I think this kid is cold-blooded. He's fine. But I don't want to take a chance to put him in a situation he shouldn't be.

"We have to go little by little, one step at a time, and hopefully when he gets out there, he can do the job."

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