Garcia's emergence will be key to White Sox fortunes

Garcia's emergence will be key to White Sox fortunes

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Avisail Garcia has been described as a five-tool talent by many members of the White Sox organization. But his sixth skill set -- perseverance -- was on full display in 2014 and should benefit Garcia more than any other this year.

Garcia suffered a torn labrum and avulsion fracture in his left shoulder last April 9 while diving for a D.J. LeMahieu line drive in right field in Colorado. The prognosis was season-ending surgery, but as early as a June conversation with MLB.com, Garcia was not agreeing with that finality.

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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 raises spring average to .519 with four hits in win

Slugger doubles twice, drives in run as Rodon, Sox defeat host Dodgers

Abreu raises spring average to .519 with four hits in win

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Jose Abreu had a pair of doubles and a pair of singles, and J.B. Shuck doubled and singled as the White Sox beat the Dodgers, 2-1, on Tuesday. Abreu doubled in one run, and Melky Cabrera brought home the other with a sacrifice fly.

Chicago lefty Carlos Rodon lost a shutout on a home run by Chris Heisey leading off the bottom of the fifth inning. Dodgers starter Joe Wieland was charged with both runs on nine hits over five innings.

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Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Shuck, Soto, Albers secure roster spots with White Sox

Shuck, Soto, Albers secure roster spots with White Sox

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The White Sox active-roster decisions appear to be all but complete with the Tuesday announcement by manager Robin Ventura of J.B. Shuck as the fourth outfielder and the club confirmation that catcher Geovany Soto and right-handed reliever Matt Albers both were formally notified that they will make the club.

A decision on Article XX(B) free agents such as Albers and Soto had to be made by Tuesday under the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The players will be added to the 40-man, although the White Sox current roster sits at 39.

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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

Like Sale, changeup the key to Rodon's success

Like Sale, changeup the key to Rodon's success

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Mark Buehrle has been away from the White Sox for four springs, but when he left Chicago, he didn't take his trademark pitch with him.

The changeup remains a key for the success of White Sox pitchers, especially left-handers.

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

Crain not going to rush process of getting shoulder healthy

Crain not going to rush process of getting shoulder healthy

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Jesse Crain has been throwing for about a week and has been "climbing again" in his comeback to a Major League mound.

The veteran right-hander, who has not pitched in a game since June 29, 2013, with the White Sox, had thrown off the mound 10 times this spring and had worked his way through three live batting-practice sessions before suffering shoulder soreness that set him back briefly during the week of March 16.

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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's immediate future to be in Minors

Lefty continuing to develop complete arsenal

Rodon's immediate future to be in Minors

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Carlos Rodon will begin the 2015 campaign in the Minors as a starter for Triple-A Charlotte.

That move was not made official by the White Sox on Monday. Right-handed pitcher Chris Beck being reassigned to Minor League camp was the only announcement from the team.

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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 welcomes the challenge of higher expectations

White Sox skipper looks forward to season ahead with retooled roster

Ventura welcomes the challenge of higher expectations

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Don't talk to Robin Ventura about managerial pressure entering the 2015 campaign.

Remember, this is a man who presided over White Sox teams that won a combined 136 games over the last two seasons. All the while, he was hoping and knowing better times were ahead. Now that the team looks as if it's set up for greater success, Ventura is embracing and welcoming the challenge of taking the White Sox to a higher level.

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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.

Noesi recovers from quick stumble; Sox fall

Allows consecutive HRs in 4th; Flowers goes deep

Noesi recovers from quick stumble; Sox fall

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Cactus League contest between the Indians and White Sox on Monday at Camelback Ranch featured a battle of long balls. Jerry Sands' leadoff homer in the eighth off of Zach Duke helped the Indians secure a 4-1 victory.

Cleveland grabbed the lead in the fourth on back-to-back home runs off of White Sox starter Hector Noesi. Center fielder Bradley Zimmer went deep for the first time this spring, with two outs and Carlos Santana on base, followed by catcher Brett Hayes' blast to left.

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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.

Final roster alignment a question of flexibility

Deciding between extra reliever or position player

Final roster alignment a question of flexibility

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The chance exists that the White Sox could break camp with seven relievers and an extra position player as they travel from Arizona to Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday night. That extra position player would almost certainly be Carlos Sanchez, a switch-hitter who can play across the infield and has been battling Micah Johnson for second base.

Eight relievers would be the second option, bringing the extra arm until Chris Sale is projected to return on April 12.

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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.

Petricka headed to disabled list

Reliever dealing with soreness in right forearm

Petricka headed to disabled list

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Jake Petricka will begin the 2015 season on the disabled list, according to comments made by White Sox general manager Rick Hahn on Monday at Camelback Ranch.

"We don't foresee this being a long-term problem," said Hahn of Petricka, who has not pitched since March 23 because of soreness in his right forearm. "There's a decent chance he'll be activated when his 15-day period is up.

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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, Flowers, Kottaras lead offense with flurry of doubles

Robertson effective in return to mound as bullpen shuts down Tribe

Johnson, Flowers, Kottaras lead offense with flurry of doubles

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Micah Johnson and Tyler Flowers had two hits each, and George Kottaras had a two-run double as the White Sox beat the Indians, 4-1, Sunday at Goodyear Ballpark.

Scott Carroll gave up one unearned run in three innings, and David Robertson, Arcenio Leon and Jace Fry combined for six scoreless innings out of the Chicago bullpen.

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Chris Gabel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Robertson throws sharp inning in return to mound

White Sox taking cautious approach with reliever Petricka

Robertson throws sharp inning in return to mound

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- David Robertson threw a scoreless inning of relief during the White Sox 4-1 victory over the Indians Sunday at Goodyear Ballpark. It was the first game for Robertson since March 21 against the Royals, as he has been working through soreness near his right forearm.

Robertson threw 10 of his 17 pitches for strikes in the fourth, inducing three ground balls to second baseman Micah Johnson, sandwiched around a Brandon Moss double. The White Sox closer is not scheduled yet for back-to-back games during this final week of Spring Training, but said Sunday that he could pitch one day and face one batter or throw a bullpen session the next.

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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 complimented by comparison with old pal Buehrle

After rehab, starter realizes he has to do more with lower velocity

Danks complimented by comparison with old pal Buehrle

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- John Danks wants to make one point perfectly clear. It's an honor when people talk about the White Sox hurler needing to pitch like Mark Buehrle, meaning he should make much more with less -- velocity, in particular.

The White Sox southpaw wants to make a second point equally clear about his former teammate and good friend: His stuff will always be better than that of Buehrle, the 15-year veteran who sits one victory away from 200 for his career.

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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 has edge in second-base competition

White Sox GM Hahn keeping eye on waiver wire as decisions loom

Johnson has edge in second-base competition

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Micah Johnson "appears to be the guy" at second base for the White Sox to start the 2015 season, per comments made by Robin Ventura on Sunday. But the White Sox manager added that nothing is set in stone with five Cactus League games remaining.

"He's done well enough to kind of be the leading guy," said Ventura of Johnson, who had two hits in Sunday's 4-1 victory over the Indians.

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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.

Drabek throws bullpen session on first day in White Sox camp

Right-handed pitcher claimed off waivers from Blue Jays on Friday

Drabek throws bullpen session on first day in White Sox camp

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Kyle Drabek could be excused if the last few days have taken on a bit of a whirlwind, head-spinning quality.

"Hearing it, and then having to pack up my whole place in Florida and ship out the next day, and there's only five days, a week left," Drabek told reporters Sunday morning as part of his first day in White Sox camp. "So it's spinning a little bit."

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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 not concerned about two key bullpen members

Robertson to appear Sunday; Petricka showing signs of progress

White Sox not concerned about two key bullpen members

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- David Robertson is scheduled to throw against the Indians during Sunday's Cactus League action, while Jake Petricka did some light tossing before Saturday's contest at Camelback Ranch. So the worry level remains low over two integral parts of the White Sox bullpen battling forearm soreness with Opening Day just nine days away.

Manager Robin Ventura said that the club is being overly cautious where both Robertson and Petricka are concerned to make sure they feel good before running them back out to the mound.

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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.

Quintana powers through, locks down A's after first

Alexei chips in two-run single; White Sox bullpen can't contain Oakland

Quintana powers through, locks down A's after first

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Billy Burns' four hits topped a 15-hit attack in a 10-4 Oakland victory over the White Sox at Camelback Ranch. Saturday's start against the A's for Jose Quintana looked much like some of his Major League-high 39 no-decisions since 2012, as the left-hander pitched brilliantly over six innings against Scott Kazmir, only to leave trailing by two runs.

But the White Sox rallied for three in the sixth before Quintana was officially removed, scoring two on Alexei Ramirez's single and then taking the lead on Geovany Soto's two-out double. Quintana fanned five over six innings without issuing a walk. Only one of his two runs allowed were earned.

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

Semien faces White Sox, praises good friend Johnson

Infielder traded in Samardzija deal remains in touch with second-base candidate

Semien faces White Sox, praises good friend Johnson

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Marcus Semien and Micah Johnson are no longer teammates, as Semien was moved to the A's as part of a six-player trade that sent Opening Day starter Jeff Samardzija to the White Sox during the past Winter Meetings in San Diego.

But their bond of friendship certainly hasn't been broken by Semien's move. In fact, the Oakland shortstop said after his 0-for-3 effort in the White Sox 10-4 loss to the A's Saturday that he still pays close attention to Johnson and his second-base candidacy.

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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.

Williams remains optimistic for White Sox season

Executive vice president wants Rodon to get as much development as possible

Williams remains optimistic for White Sox season

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Ken Williams has put forth the following statement concerning the 2015 White Sox somewhere around 10 times since SoxFest: He's about as excited to see this present group play together as any other team with which he's been involved.

Make that 11 times, as the White Sox executive vice president reiterated that point during a sitdown with MLB.com Saturday. As far as the 2015 White Sox and their relation to the postseason are concerned, Williams didn't want to go into the guarantee side of things on March 28, aside from pointing out "we've got as good of a chance as anybody."

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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.

Viola III trying to break into Majors as knuckleballer

With help from former Twins, experienced pitchers, 30-year-old looks for second chance

Viola III trying to break into Majors as knuckleballer

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- This is a story about Frank Viola. No, not the Frank Viola who currently serves as the Las Vegas 51s pitching coach, who won the 1988 American League Cy Young Award and who pitched in the World Series run for the '87 Twins.

We are talking about Frank Viola III, the 29th-round selection of the White Sox in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, who looked as if he had left baseball behind following the '10 season spent with the Independent League St. Paul team. But the 30-year-old is back in Chicago's camp, albeit on the Minor League side, relying on a new friend known as the knuckleball to get him to the Majors in the second go-around.

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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 option Webb, reassign Phillips

White Sox option Webb, reassign Phillips

The White Sox made their latest round of cuts Saturday, optioning right-hander Daniel Webb to Triple-A Charlotte and reassigning left-hander Zach Phillips to Minor League camp.

With the moves, the White Sox are down to 39 players in camp, including 23 pitchers, three catchers, eight infielders and five outfielders.

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John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter @JohnSchlegelMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Former team, four homers don't faze Samardzija

Former team, four homers don't faze Samardzija

MESA, Ariz. -- Friday's contest against the Cubs was going to have a different feel for Jeff Samardzija, simply because it was played at Sloan Park as part of the Cactus League schedule.

But what was looked at as just another preparatory day by the White Sox Opening Day starter did have a slightly different feel for the 30-year-old who spent parts of seven seasons on the North Side.

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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.

'Athletic' Sale makes progress during simulated game

White Sox ace mixes in pitches, shows off glove with quick-reaction play

'Athletic' Sale makes progress during simulated game

MESA, Ariz. -- The highlight of Chris Sale's five-inning, 75-pitch simulated game Friday at Camelback Ranch came near the end of the session.

Carlos Sanchez ripped a liner back to the mound, and Sale caught the shot backhanded before firing the ball to a vacant first base as if to double off the runner. Sale quickly asked, or more so pleaded, with the group of assembled media that the play was caught in picture or on video, but there was nothing.

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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 want Rodon to be 'complete product' in debut

Talented lefty likely to earn roster spot only when he's ready to stay for good

White Sox want Rodon to be 'complete product' in debut

MESA, Ariz. -- The prevailing school of thought concerning Carlos Rodon and breaking camp with the White Sox is that once he arrives in the Major Leagues, he's there to stay.

Comments from manager Robin Ventura on Friday concerning the talented 22-year-old southpaw did nothing to change that point of view.

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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.

Two blasts not enough to support Shark vs. Cubs

Flowers, Melky go deep; Samardzija K's nine, allows four homers

Two blasts not enough to support Shark vs. Cubs

MESA, Ariz. -- Jeff Samardzija got a rude welcome by his former teammates on Friday.

Jorge Soler and Chris Coghlan each belted two-run homers, and Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro added solo shots to power the Cubs to a 6-3 victory over the White Sox and their former teammate at Sloan Park. Samardzija, who struck out nine, was the Cubs' Opening Day starter last year, and he will begin this season for the White Sox.

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

White Sox make waiver claim on righty Drabek

Jones placed on 60-day DL, scheduled to throw bullpen session Wednesday

White Sox make waiver claim on righty Drabek

MESA, Ariz. -- The White Sox claimed right-handed pitcher Kyle Drabek off waivers from the Blue Jays on Friday and placed right-hander Nate Jones on the 60-day disabled list. The Jones move opened up a spot for Drabek, with the 40-man roster sitting once again at 40.

Drabek, 27, spent most of the 2014 season with Triple-A Buffalo in the Toronto organization, going 7-7 with a 4.18 ERA and 68 strikeouts over 32 appearances (13 starts). He also made two appearances with Toronto after being recalled on Aug. 16, working three scoreless innings.

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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.

Penny misses mark in latest audition

Right-hander allows six runs over four innings

Penny misses mark in latest audition

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Brad Penny's push for a White Sox roster spot, either as a spot-starter for Chris Sale or a long reliever, took a bit of a hit on Thursday at Camelback Ranch in the Dodgers' 9-6 victory.

The Los Angeles offense was led by Yasiel Puig's fifth home run, a two-run shot, of the spring and four RBIs from Jimmy Rollins, who also hit a two-run homer. Penny allowed six runs on eight hits over four innings, while Clayton Kershaw struck out eight in six innings.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Rodon could be game-changer for White Sox

Rodon could be game-changer for White Sox

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Ah, so this is why the White Sox have been so mysterious through the years.

A few times every spring, they have their starters work in a Minor League game on a back field rather than allowing them to face an American League Central opponent. But on Wednesday night, they allowed 22-year-old lefty Carlos Rodon to pitch against the Royals.

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