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White Sox place closer David Robertson on bereavement list

David Robertson will miss at least three games. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

BALTIMORE — The  White Sox placed right-handed pitcher David Robertson on the Bereavement List Thursday and recalled infielder Carlos Sanchez from Class AAA Charlotte on Thursday.

Robertson, who is 8-for-9 in save opportunities with a 0.87 ERA, must stay on the list for a minimum of three days and not more than seven. He will return to the Sox for the final game of their four-game series that opened in Baltimore against the Orioles Thursday night. Eighth-inning specialist Nate Jones appears to be in line to be the ninth-inning man in Robertson’s absence, although manager Robin Ventura could mix and match with Jones, a right-hander, and right-hander Matt Albers and lefty Zach Duke, he said.

The Sox are 16-6, leading the American League in wins, and the bullpen is one of the big reasons why. It leads the major leagues with a 1.32 ERA, including a 0.73 mark over the last nine games.  Albers (0.00),  Jones (0.84)  Robertson (0.87) own ERAs below 1.00. They’ve had a good thing going in the first 22 games, but Ventura said he’s not concerned about Robertson’s absence upsetting the apple cart.
“They feel for Robby,” Ventura said. “In a lot of ways they want to help him out as well. Robby is a good teammate and part of this is being able to flow with it. I think these guys are going to step up. That’s what you do.”

“Any of us guys in the bullpen could fill in for a couple of days for David,” Jones said. “We close out our innings, anyway. You have to go out there and pitch, no matter what it is, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth. But we’re going to try and do the best we can”

Jones, who collected his first career save working two innings against the Los Angeles Angels on April 19 at U.S. Cellular Field, was a leading candidate to be the Sox closer in 2014 before he encountered elbow and back problems before his season got off the ground.

“I mean, we try to treat it just like any other inning,” Jones said. “I know it’s the final three outs and people put a lot of emphasis on it, but no matter who’s doing it, we try to treat it like any other inning, like it’s the eighth or seventh or sixth.”

Said right-hander Jake Petricka (1.35 ERA) who recorded 14 saves for the Sox in 2014: “I’m sure Nate will move from the eighth to the ninth inning. He’ll do fine, his stuff is electric. I’m looking forward to seeing him get those opportunities.”

The Sox brought up right-hander Daniel Webb when they optioned starter Miguel Gonzalez to Charlotte Wednesday, so they have 12 pitchers including seven relievers.

 Sanchez, 23, is hitting .309 with four doubles, three home runs and nine RBI for Charlotte. Sanchez hit .224 with 23 doubles, five homers and 31 RBI over 120 games with the Sox last season.
Robertson is mourning the passing of his father-in-law, who lost his battle with cancer this week. Robertson considered taking off the last game of the Blue Jays series Wednesday in Toronto, in which he pitched a perfect ninth to protect a 4-0 lead in a non-save situation, but chose to take Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

“He felt it was best to play last night and get these three days and I’m good with that,” Ventura said.