White Sox right-hander Nate Jones said at the end of February that he was completely over the glute strain that he suffered shortly after arriving at spring camp and he proved that on Saturday, delivering a scoreless inning in his 2014 Cactus League debut.
Jones allowed a hit and issued a walk, but he also recorded a strikeout and prevented any real damage.
The hard-throwing 28-year-old owns a promising 3.31 career ERA, 1.296 career WHIP, and 154 strikeouts in 149 2/3 major league innings, and he is the favorite to take over as the White Sox’s closer this season.
Chicago traded former closer Addison Reed to the Diamondbacks back in December.
Yesterday the Mets announced that lefty Jason Vargas sustained a non-displaced fracture of the hamate bone in his right hand as the result of a comebacker during a spring training start. This morning they announced that Vargas will have surgery, which should cause him to miss the first week or so of the season.
Vargas will have the surgery tomorrow. Given that it’s on his non-throwing hand, he won’t miss much time — just a week or so of action, with another few days to get back up to speed afterward. He actually threw a bullpen session this morning. The issue is that he can’t catch a ball right now.
Vargas, 35, signed a two-year, $16 million pact with the Mets last month. With him missing a couple of starts, the Mets should break camp with both Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler in the rotation. The two had been fighting for the final spot.