Cook has not lost his job, Melvin insisted. He's simply undergoing a brief role change, following struggles that brought about nine runs allowed over his previous eight games.
"It just means maybe we're targeting a spot for him that's not closing at this point," Melvin said. "It could be one time, it could be a couple, and he knows that."
In an effort to get the rookie some confidence back, Melvin said he would "like to get him a nice clean inning where, potentially, it's not of the magnitude of closing."Cook entered Saturday's 9-7 win in the seventh inning with one out and a runner on first and promptly gave up two singles to allow the White Sox to take a 7-6 lead. He escaped further damage with an inning-ending double play before exiting in the eighth with two outs and runner, on base via a hit-by-pitch, on first.
The likely go-to guy in the ninth is right-hander Grant Balfour, who compiled 13 1/3 scoreless innings before allowing a home run to the Angels' Mark Trumbo on Wednesday. Balfour began the season as the team's closer, before he, too, was relegated to a setup role after a string of troubled outings.