Cooper still in hospital, will miss rest of trip

WASHINGTON -- Chicago White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper remains in a local hospital battling diverticulitis and will go back home once released and miss the rest of this three-city road trip.

Cooper has been at Inova Hospital in Northern Virginia since Tuesday, and team officials confirmed Thursday that the long-time pitching coach will go back home to Nashville after his release. He is not going to come with the Sox to either Cleveland or Toronto after they leave Washington.

While Cooper, 57, recovers at home, bullpen coach Bobby Thigpen will continue to be the pitching coach and Mark Salas takes over his job.

In addition, Curt Hasler (Chicago's pitching coordinator) is going to meet the team in Cleveland Friday to lend a hand in the bullpen. Thigpen said before Thursday's series finale in Washington that they're trying to keep everything as normal as possible for the Sox pitchers.

"Really, the only difference is simply the fact that he's not here," Thigpen said. "We talk every day. Thankfully, he's feeling a little bit better. He's part of the team. He's the pitching coach."

Manager Robin Ventura echoed Thigpen's sentiments, saying he misses Cooper also but is hoping the coach does better soon and that everything's been going fine with the pitchers.

"You get used to the conversations that we have daily during the games," Ventura said. "It's different, but Bobby's on it and picked it up fairly quickly."

Catcher Tyler Flowers is another player who's had to adjust to not having Cooper around the past two games. Cooper gives the catcher his opinions on a variety of subjects.

"It's a little different for me not to have Coop yapping in my ear between every inning, positive or negative," Flowers said with a smile. "I think it's going to be fine. We hope Coop recovers well and quickly."