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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL STOCK WATCH: NATE JONES MAKING FIRM PUSH FOR WHITE SOX CLOSER GIG

Signed long-term and pitching great during spring training?  Signed on a short-term deal and looking shaky this spring?  This has been the split performance by the Chicago White Sox' Nate Jones and Joakim Soria this spring, with the latter having entered into exhibition play as the de facto closer for the team.  On paper, this made sense since Jones was coming back from 2017 surgery that virtually wiped out his entire year, while Soria is a veteran arm who has closed at a solid level for multiple MLB teams in the past.  Be that as it may, there is no question that Jones has been the much better pitcher this spring as he went into Tuesday's action with 6.1 scoreless frames and 8 strikeouts to show that his closer-worthy stuff is still very much intact.  Meanwhile, Soria got blasted badly during his first spring appearance and he has struck out just one batter in 4 innings.  Clearly, Jones has been the better pitcher and it wouldn't surprise me in the least if today he is named the closer.  If the rebuilding White Sox want to go the conservative route, then I believe Jones will be the guy by May since Soria can't be trusted and his stuff looks to be a level or two below his early potent days.  So as I have said for most of spring training, pick up Jones where available as he could really pay off big as an early waiver wire gem.  

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