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Jones ready to help bullpen in any capacity

CHICAGO -- Nate Jones wanted to be the White Sox closer.

As he pointed out prior to Wednesday's contest, it's something many White Sox relievers wanted to do, and it's why they had a Spring Training competition of sorts.

"It just so happened Matt Lindstrom got healthy, he did well in the outings he had and he did well Monday as well," said Jones of Lindstrom, who picked up the save in Monday's 5-3 victory. "Our job now is to get the ball to him with the lead."

Jones will serve as a key relief contributor in anywhere from the sixth through the eighth, and possibly even close if Lindstrom needs a break. The hard-throwing right-hander spoke during Spring Training about how every pitcher working in those late innings with a lead basically is working as an unofficial closer.

Jones' 37 appearances of more than one inning over the last two years add to his value outside of the ninth. And he's set to take on any role given to him by manager Robin Ventura.

"The only thing that matters to me is I'm still on the team, still in the bullpen," Jones said. "I'm still excited, still ready to rock and roll, get the season going."

"We were waiting for [Lindstrom] to make sure he was completely healthy coming out of spring to be able to do that, but he's done it before and you have a little familiarity with him last year coming in," Ventura said of the closer call. "That scenario of him coming in with a clean inning, I just like it. I liked it when he did that last year, and I just felt he was the right guy to do it."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin.
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