Throughout spring training the widely held assumption was that the White Sox would use Nate Jones as their closer after trading Addison Reed to the Diamondbacks, but manager Robin Ventura avoided making any sort of official announcement and now we know why: Matt Lindstrom is going to be Chicago’s closer.
Jones is probably the better pitcher, but Lindstrom isn’t bad either and has some previous closing experience for the Marlins in 2009 and Astros in 2010. He has 45 career saves, along with a 3.56 ERA, and last season Lindstrom logged 61 innings with a 3.12 ERA and 46/23 K/BB ratio for the White Sox.
These things aren’t set in stone, of course, and odds are Jones will get a crack in the closer role at some point. But for now Ventura will go with the 34-year-old veteran and use Jones in key spots that don’t involve a lead of 1-3 runs in the ninth inning. Depending on specifically how Ventura uses him, that could actually be a more valuable role.
SAN DIEGO — The Baseball Writers Association of America has named the late Boston Globe columnist, Nick Cafardo, the winner of the 2020 J.G. Taylor Spink Award. He will be honored with the award that is presented annually to a sportswriter “for meritorious contributions to baseball writing” during Hall of Fame inductions in Cooperstown next July. Cafardo died suddenly last February at the age of 62 while covering the Red Sox at spring training in Fort Myers.
Cafardo, who covered baseball in New England for 35 years, received 243 votes from the 427 ballots cast by BBWAA members with 10 or more consecutive years’ service. He becomes the 71st winner of the award since its inception in 1962. Jim Reeves, an award-winning columnist and baseball writer in a 40-year career with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, received 108 votes. Patrick Reusse, who has covered the Twins for decades, got 76.
Cafardo worked at the Brockton Enterprise and the Quincy Patriot-Ledger before joining the Boston Globe as baseball columnist in 1989, where he inherited the Sunday notes column, founded by Peter Gammons. Cafardo covered more than 30 World Series, All-Star Games and Winter Meetings. He wrote four baseball books and won the Massachusetts Sportswriter of the Year Award in 2014 and the Boston Baseball Writers’ Dave O’Hara Award in 2017.
Cafardo becomes the first posthumous winner of the award since his Boston Globe colleague, Larry Whiteside, in 2008.