White Sox reliever Nate Jones to have minor back surgery

Written By BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN Staff Reporter Posted: 06/05/2014, 05:12pm

CLEVELAND — White Sox right-hander Nate Jones, who hasn’t pitched since April 3 because of a sore lower back, will have a minor procedure Monday that should allow him to begin throwing in a month, the Sox said Saturday.

The mini-discectomy, an out-patient operation, shaves part of the disk material that is pressing on a nerve root or spinal cord.

“Fortunately, it’s not a season-ending thing,’’ manager Robin Ventura said.

Jones, a candidate for the closer’s job during spring training, started late because of a left gluteus strain. The issue worked its way into his hip before an MRI showed the source of the problem is in his lower back.

Sierra claimed, joins club

Outfielder Moises Sierra was claimed on waivers from the Blue Jays and will join the club Sunday. The Sox had recalled left-hander Frank De Los Santos from Class AAA Charlotte as an extra arm for one game to protect a heavily used bullpen, then sent him back after the 2-0 loss Saturday to the Indians.

Sierra, 25, was designated for assignment Thursday after going 2-for-34 with the Jays. He batted .290 with a home run, triple, 13 doubles and 13 RBI in 35 games for the Jays last season. Center fielder Adam Eaton went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring.

“You just figure it out,’’ Ventura said. “All of these guys have something we need to take care of, and you find somebody to fill in and take their place. For right now, everybody is operating as the next guy up. Put him in there and play and see what happens.’’

Sale to throw off mound Monday

Chris Sale (flexor muscle strain) played long toss and is slated to throw off a mound Monday at U.S. Cellular Field before the Sox play the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Pitching coach Don Cooper said there’s no plan for Sale mapped out beyond Monday. Everything depends on how he feels, Cooper said.

“We are taking it day by day,’’ Cooper said. “Nothing is going to make us move faster.”

This and that

Conor Gillaspie (hand) will begin a rehab assignment Sunday with Charlotte, likely for three days.

◆ After throwing six scoreless innings Friday, Erik Johnson will make at least one more start for Charlotte. “I would like to see him get the confidence back of attacking the zone,’’ Ventura said. “He’s got the stuff to be able to do it.’’

Felipe Paulino pitched two innings Saturday in a rehab start with Charlotte.

Email: dvanschouwen@suntimes.com

Twitter: @CST_soxvan

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