Nate Jones continues to progress

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Chicago White Sox closer candidate Nate Jones had a third bullpen session Wednesday as he continues to catch up with his teammates following a late spring start because of a gluteus muscle strain.

“I didn’t like being shut down, but after these bullpens I feel like I’m not that far behind,” Jones said. “I’m just increasing the effort each time out and locating.”

Cactus League games start Friday and if Jones isn’t ready at that time to deliver one inning of work, he figures it won’t be much longer before he appears in his first contest. He doesn’t feel that the downtime hurt his chances of winning the vacant closer job.

“Yeah, I think it’s a situation where it’s early and there is an open competition,” Jones said. “We haven’t got to face hitters in games. We’re still doing fine and once we start playing the games I think I’ll be right where I need to be.”