Davidson reclaims zeal for game, confidence

Prospect aiming to rebound from lost 2014 season

Davidson reclaims zeal for game, confidence

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Matt Davidson doesn't want to reflect too much on the 2014 season, when the soon-to-be 24-year-old hit a dismal .199 with 164 strikeouts over 478 at-bats for Triple-A Charlotte in his first year as part of the White Sox organization.

But he also doesn't want to forget what happened, so as not to repeat it ever again.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Maximizing speed Coleman's mission with White Sox

Former steals leader emphasizing smart baserunning

Maximizing speed Coleman's mission with White Sox

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The original idea to bring Vince Coleman on as the White Sox baserunning instructor did not take root through Coleman's talk with executive vice president Ken Williams at December's Winter Meetings in San Diego. It actually started last season, while Williams was watching the White Sox on the field.

"I remember leaning over to [White Sox chairman] Jerry [Reinsdorf] and [general manager] Rick [Hahn] and saying, 'We need a specialist for guys like Adam Eaton and Micah Johnson and Tim Anderson,'" Williams said. "I believe Avi Garcia can be a 30-stolen base guy. We have more speed than I think we've ever had, more basestealing speed than we've ever had. We want to get these guys the best chance to try to maximize it."

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

First week of camp in the books for improved White Sox

LHP Quintana to start Cactus League opener

First week of camp in the books for improved White Sox

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- There's been much discussion over the past few months concerning how strong the White Sox look on paper after the eight moves made by general manager Rick Hahn during the offseason. But as was pointed out just as many times, nothing is ever won on paper.

So how do the White Sox look through one week of Spring Training, which concluded with Thursday's workout at Camelback Ranch? Can any very basic conclusions be reached at this stage? Count executive vice president Ken Williams as impressed by what he has viewed through the early work.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Low-key Quintana works in the zone, under the radar

Lefty brings efficiency, consistency to mound

Low-key Quintana works in the zone, under the radar

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Without flashy raw stuff or gaudy strikeout totals, White Sox starting pitcher Jose Quintana is easy to forget when discussing the elite pitchers in the American League.

Even in the White Sox clubhouse this spring, Quintana is easy to miss. His locker is located at the opposite end of the room from fellow starters Chris Sale, Jeff Samardzija, John Danks and Hector Noesi.

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Ari Kaye is a graduate student in the journalism masters program at Arizona State University. This story is part of a Cactus League partnership between MLB.com and ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Melky aims to be catalyst from No. 2 spot

Eaton, newcomer expected to generate offense atop lineup

Melky aims to be catalyst from No. 2 spot

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The learning process between Melky Cabrera and Adam Eaton already has begun.

With Cabrera reporting to Spring Training on Tuesday, the projected White Sox No. 2 hitter sat down with the leadoff man and had their first of what figures to be numerous talks to get things set at the top of the order.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Coleman infuses passion for baserunning into discussion

Coleman infuses passion for baserunning into discussion

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The session held by Vince Coleman on a back field at Camelback Ranch on Wednesday was termed by White Sox executive vice president Ken Williams as the best speech on baserunning he had ever heard. The passion shown by Coleman concerning the topic was evident, and the presence of a man with 752 career stolen bases as the organization's baserunning coach figures to pay dividends for the White Sox in all areas on the basepaths.

"It's important getting a guy in there with that kind of knowledge, the baserunning as well as little tips of stealing bases and things like that," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura. "It's valuable for our guys to hear that stuff. Having him here and doing that, we feel lucky."

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

White Sox feel pain of Bulls', Blackhawks' injuries

Rose and Kane forced off the court and ice

White Sox feel pain of Bulls', Blackhawks' injuries

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Trayce Thompson and Derrick Rose share a common bond by virtue of their respective status as professional athletes. But the connection between the Thompson and Rose families runs a bit deeper.

Rose played with Golden State's Klay Thompson, Trayce's brother and another one of the NBA's top players, this past summer for Team USA, while Julie Thompson, Trayce's and Klay's mother, became friends with Rose's mother, Brenda. So the news of the medial meniscus tear sustained by Rose in his right knee, leading to his third knee surgery in three seasons, hit hard for the White Sox No. 14 prospect, as ranked by MLB.com.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Klay Thompson's brother is a White Sox prospect

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Klay Thompson's brother is a White Sox prospect

It wasn't exactly Arnold Palmer vs. Jack Nicklaus, but in a golf matchup between White Sox No. 14 prospect Trayce Thompson and White Sox first-base coach Daryl Boston, Thompson was tantalizing close to getting a victory.

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MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

LaRoche the leader of White Sox overhaul

LaRoche the leader of White Sox overhaul

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- When Adam LaRoche was being courted by the White Sox, general manager Rick Hahn told him that the team was hopeful it could make major upgrades to its roster. But this was back in November, only a couple of weeks after the free-agent period opened, and LaRoche wasn't sure if he was being served a slice of pie in the sky.

"As a free agent, which I've been a few times, you always hear that," LaRoche said. "There's always talk: 'We're going to do more, we're not finished yet.' Sometimes it works out, and a lot of times it doesn't."

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Phil Rogers is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rodon dazzles in first batting practice session

After catching top White Sox prospect, Soto says 'This kid is going to be special'

Rodon dazzles in first batting practice session

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- With each day spent at his first big league Spring Training, Carlos Rodon seems to learn a little more about his repertoire.

And the rest of the White Sox get a look at the immense talent possessed by the team's No. 1 prospect, per MLB.com.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ventura gives players his state of White Sox address

Manager's message centers on doing right things to prepare for season

Ventura gives players his state of White Sox address

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Robin Ventura gave his state of the White Sox address before his squad's first full Spring Training workout Wednesday at Camelback Ranch. But the manager's speeches aren't designed to present all his "A" material in one sitting.

"I save them throughout. I've never given one big one," said a smiling Ventura. "I give little ones along the way."

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

LaRoche happy to lead, but knows role is earned

Elder statesman on White Sox roster getting to know new teammates

LaRoche happy to lead, but knows role is earned

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The role of leader is one that Adam LaRoche will gladly assume with the White Sox, as both the oldest player on the team's 40-man-roster and a man who comes to the organization with the reputation of being a highly positive clubhouse influence.

LaRoche, 35, also knows that arriving in a new league via free agency, let alone a new organization, means that mantle of leadership won't be assumed overnight.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Johnson says stealing not lost art, but runners must be smart

White Sox second-base prospect says 100-SB season remains possible in MLB

Johnson says stealing not lost art, but runners must be smart

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Micah Johnson didn't make a grand prediction of a 100-stolen base rookie season Tuesday, when the full White Sox roster was in camp for the first time and working at Camelback Ranch. The 24-year-old isn't a lock to make the team, let alone win the battle to start at second base.

But the points made eloquently by Johnson are that 100 stolen bases in a season remain possible for a Major League player, and that speed is good.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Abreu trying to reach postseason, not duplicate rookie season

Cuban slugger enters second season in Chicago

Abreu trying to reach postseason, not duplicate rookie season

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The back of Jose Abreu's baseball card lists 2014 as his rookie campaign with the White Sox and within Major League Baseball. It took very little time for Abreu's teammates and his opponents, for that matter, to realize he was not a run-of-the-mill first-year player.

"By the end of Spring Training, none of us were really considering him a rookie, other than Rookie of the Year," said White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers. "He really never looked overmatched.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cooper points to system's depth of pitching

'Bigger and better arms' give White Sox hope

Cooper points to system's depth of pitching

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- When focusing upon the top young White Sox arms, the list begins with the team's top-ranked and No. 14 overall, according to MLB.com, in Carlos Rodon. But pitching coach Don Cooper has seen an increased depth of talent within the system simply by watching bullpen sessions over the first four days of Spring Training.

Cooper pointed to Francelis Montas, Tyler Danish, Raul Fernandez and newly-acquired Michael Ynoa as a few of those pitchers to watch.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Eight-man bullpen under consideration by White Sox

Plan may help ease rotation's early workload

Eight-man bullpen under consideration by White Sox

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Manager Robin Ventura stated during his media session on Monday at Camelback Ranch that the White Sox are considering taking eight relievers and one fewer position player when they break camp in early April.

"Yeah, we could," Ventura said. "We are pretty open to it right now."

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rodon: Preparing as starter also works for relieving

Rodon: Preparing as starter also works for relieving

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- When it comes to starting vs. relieving, Carlos Rodon looks at the situation sort of like a haircut. Allow the sport's No. 14 prospect, per MLB.com, and the third pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft to explain for a better understanding of the concept.

"When you cut hair, you can't put it back," Rodon told MLB.com with a broad smile. "But you can take off more."

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Crain, Albers could bolster White Sox bullpen

Crain, Albers could bolster White Sox bullpen

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The White Sox non-roster additions of Matt Albers and Jesse Crain didn't earn the national attention that the David Robertson free-agent signing or the Jeff Samardzija trade garnered, as examples. But the right-handed Albers and Crain could end up making key contributions to the team before this 2015 season is complete.

Crain threw a 25-to-30 pitch bullpen session on Sunday at Camelback Ranch, featuring fastballs and changeups. This effort followed up his 15-pitch session last Tuesday and then 20 more off the mound Friday. According to Crain, he didn't throw off the mound with only one day in between efforts last year in Houston, as he did on Friday and Sunday.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

White Sox second-base job a five-man battle

White Sox second-base job a five-man battle

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- While many White Sox position players worked out Sunday morning on the back fields at Camelback Ranch, they aren't officially scheduled to report until Tuesday. The fight for the starting second-base job will switch into high gear at that point, with Micah Johnson, Carlos Sanchez, Emilio Bonifacio, Gordon Beckham and Tyler Saladino all in the mix.

According to third-base coach Joe McEwing, who works with the infielders as well, any of the five would wind up as a good choice.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Danks lowers angle, maintains high expectations

Changes to mechanics designed to minimize HRs

Danks lowers angle, maintains high expectations

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- John Danks has lowered his arm angle and lowered his leg kick upon pitch delivery. But his expectations for the 2015 season are riding high as Spring Training begins for the White Sox at Camelback Ranch.

Danks actually made these changes late last season, helping produce a 3.94 ERA over five September starts, after posting a 5.15 ERA in July and a 6.75 ERA in August. The southpaw also allowed just one home run over those 29 2/3 innings in September as part of his 25 yielded overall.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rodon looks inward for motivation

Left-handed prospect eyeing better command

Rodon looks inward for motivation

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Check out any Top 100 Prospects list from the past offseason, and Carlos Rodon is prominently featured in or just outside the Top 20. For the record, Rodon sits at No. 14 according to MLB.com.

Rodon has just 24 2/3 innings of professional experience at the Minor League level and is taking part in his first big league Spring Training, having thrown his first official bullpen session Friday at Camelback Ranch. Talk continues as to whether the 22-year-old southpaw can break camp as part of the White Sox bullpen after being selected as the No. 3 pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Avisail sheds pounds, but not cravings

Outfielder dropped 15 pounds with offseason diet

Avisail sheds pounds, but not cravings

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Avisail Garcia dropped around 15 pounds during the offseason in order to help everything from his baserunning to tracking baseballs in the outfield. He spoke about that weight-loss program Saturday morning at Camelback Ranch, maintaining a good sense of humor in regard to the accomplishment.

When asked if the weight loss was tough, Garcia acknowledged that it was because he wants to eat. When asked what he eats now, Garcia rattled off his new menu.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Coleman making quick impact on White Sox speedsters

Coleman making quick impact on White Sox speedsters

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- White Sox position players don't officially report to camp until Tuesday, but Vince Coleman isn't waiting to begin his baserunning tutorial.

Coleman, hired by the White Sox as a baserunning instructor to work with the Major League and Minor League teams, was showing some moves to Micah Johnson, Carlos Sanchez and Jared Mitchell on one of the back fields at Camelback Ranch on Saturday. All three players possess a strong speed component, which the author of 752 career stolen bases hopes to enhance.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sale focused on present, season-long health

Lefty wants performance to embody leadership

Sale focused on present, season-long health

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- When Paul Konerko retired from the White Sox after the 2014 season, finishing 16 years with the organization, one school of thought was that the team was now Chris Sale's.

The 25-year-old ace and third-place finisher in the 2014 American League Cy Young Award race balks at such an idea, pointing out that the man known as "King" played every day for much of his career. Sale pitches every five days.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

White Sox open Spring Training in position to contend

White Sox open Spring Training in position to contend

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Generally as upbeat as he is excitable, White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper was practically levitating as he moved around the workout mounds at Camelback Ranch on Friday.

It was only the first session of Spring Training, but Cooper's excitement was palpable as he watched right-hander Jeff Samardzija throw alongside left-hander Chris Sale. And, if possible, it just grew as he moved on to watch the group of prospects headed by 2014 first-round pick Carlos Rodon, a 22-year-old lefty from North Carolina State, and to consider the professionalism of newcomers such as closer David Robertson and veteran lefty Zach Duke.

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Phil Rogers is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Spring arrives for optimistic White Sox

Camp officially opened Friday, but many players have been present for weeks

Spring arrives for optimistic White Sox

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Playoffs or bust.

That feeling has enveloped the White Sox organization and fan base since general manager Rick Hahn finished an offseason with what looks like at least eight impact moves to reshape a 73-win roster from 2014. The idea was broached to many among the White Sox on Friday, with pitchers and catchers reporting to Camelback Ranch to officially begin Spring Training. And manager Robin Ventura's answer to that question seemed to sum up their overriding feeling.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

White Sox split on MLB's new pace initiatives

Some players wary of affecting integrity of game

White Sox split on MLB's new pace initiatives

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Adam Eaton is not a big supporter of the pace-of-game initiatives to be incorporated during the 2015 season, announced by Major League Baseball and the MLBPA on Friday. Chris Sale liked the moves, while White Sox player representative Tyler Flowers took a more pragmatic approach.

"You have to adapt to the times and I think it's been something they've been looking at for a while," Flowers said. "We're open to looking at things to help that, but we also can't affect the integrity of the game.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.