MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Coleman helping White Sox craft new identity

Coleman helping White Sox craft new identity

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The hallway between the White Sox clubhouse and the players' dining room is lined with large photos from their recent past, with an emphasis on the 2005 World Series team. One of those captures Scott Podsednik with the swing of a lifetime.

Podsednik is seen hitting the 12th-inning homer that won Game 2, a homer that, oddly enough, was only the second home run he hit that season. It would have been far more fitting had Podsednik been pictured sliding into second with a stolen base or sprinting around third to score from first on a double.

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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 prefers to let his game do the talking

Club's top prospect an avid outdoorsman, understated in his approach at White Sox camp

Rodon prefers to let his game do the talking

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- It hasn't taken long for left-hander Carlos Rodon to grasp the Chicago bragging-rights battle between the Cubs and White Sox. That point was made evident during a sit-down interview with MLB.com on Monday, when Rodon spoke about a trip to Chicago he made while pitching for Team USA in 2013.

"Unfortunately, we went to Wrigley," said the understated Rodon with a smile.

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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 legend Minoso passes away

Club's first black ballplayer was 9-time All-Star, 3-time Gold Glover

White Sox legend Minoso passes away

Native Cubans could move to the big leagues without dealing much in politics, secrecy and defection six decades ago. Cuban baseball talent was highly regarded and increasingly desirable. Not coincidentally, Minnie Minoso was at the forefront of the international game then. His baseball skills caught the eye. His distinctive name caught the ear. And his warm and engaging personality made him an uncommonly popular figure anywhere he played -- no, anywhere he went -- and helped forge a legacy that, to this day, prompts baseball folks to smile.

Minoso died Sunday at age 90 -- 34 years after his final at-bat in the big leagues, the one that made him the second player in Major League history to appear in games in five decades. Had Bill Veeck, baseball's ultimate showman, lived into the summer of 1990, Minoso probably would have played in six, and perhaps ended his 14-year slump at three at-bats.

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Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Outfield prospect Hawkins not rushing his progress

White Sox top Draft pick in 2012 letting his development take its course

Outfield prospect Hawkins not rushing his progress

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Courtney Hawkins isn't worried about the Major Leagues.

Sure, it's the ultimate goal for the No. 5 White Sox prospect, and he wants to arrive as quickly as his abundance of talent will allow. But unlike his first year or so with the organization, the confident 21-year-old won't put any extra pressure on the acceleration of his development.

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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 players remember Minoso

Nieto, Samardzija, others recall man full of positive energy, feedback

White Sox players remember Minoso

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Minnie Minoso was a great guy, a man full of positive energy and feedback and an individual truly loved the White Sox.

Those reactions were just a few presented by White Sox players after Minoso's passing 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.

Depth gives White Sox options in Sale's absence

Depth gives White Sox options in Sale's absence

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- If the White Sox don't have staff ace Chris Sale by Opening Day on April 6 in Kansas City, they should have the American League Cy Young candidate during the season's first month as he works back from a fracture in his right foot.

The White Sox approached this season certainly knowing they would need contributions from more than the 12 pitchers they break camp with. So if the White Sox don't have Sale at the season's outset, they are comfortable with the possible fill-in options -- in the present and in the not-too-distant future.

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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.

Camp notes: Arizona rain washes out intrasquad game

Camp notes: Arizona rain washes out intrasquad game

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- There will be no makeup scheduled for Monday's rained-out White Sox intrasquad contest because, well, Cactus League action begins Wednesday at Camelback Ranch against the Dodgers. The White Sox hope to get in Tuesday's intrasquad game, covering seven innings, with the local forecast calling for 65 degrees and sunshine.

Jeff Samardzija, Zach Duke and Chris Beck are all set to throw Tuesday.

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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.

No one meant more to White Sox than Minoso

Chicago's front office reflects on legend's immense impact

No one meant more to White Sox than Minoso

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Nobody is immortal.

It's a concept White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and pretty much everyone else fully understands. But when it came to Minnie Minoso, known as the Cuban Comet and, more appropriately, Mr. White Sox, Reinsdorf thought he might have met the one exception.

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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.

Baseball mourns the loss of Mr. White Sox

President Obama one of many to pay tribute to trailblazer Minoso

Baseball mourns the loss of Mr. White Sox

The loss was felt around the baseball world on Sunday, when news emerged that White Sox legend Minnie Minoso had died Sunday in Chicago.

Minoso was a beloved figure throughout the game, but especially in Chicago, where he spent 12 of his 17 seasons playing for the White Sox, getting his No. 9 retired by the club in 1983 and earning a sculpture at U.S. Cellular Field in 2004. The first black player in White Sox history, Minoso was nicknamed "The Cuban Comet" but also "Mr. White Sox." He not only finished his career among the top 10 in franchise history in several statistical categories, but also spent many more years as the team's community relations ambassador.

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Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Beloved Minnie was a Chicago treasure

Mr. White Sox was a great player on the field and a great man off of it

Beloved Minnie was a Chicago treasure

Minnie Minoso is gone, and it is silly to say he'll be missed. That's a huge understatement.

His death on Sunday leaves holes everywhere. No one alive knew better what it was like for Latin-American players to come to the Major Leagues, Cuban players, in particular. But that's just the very tip of a legacy that includes tremendous love of family, love of the American way and a devotion to the White Sox organization that Jerry Reinsdorf lovingly returned, in keeping an eye out for him all these years.

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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.

MLB says goodbye to Minoso

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MLB says goodbye to Minoso

Minnie Minoso spent 17 years in MLB, 12 of which were with his beloved White Sox. Early Sunday morning, the seven-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glover passed away at the age of 92.

Born in Cuba, he was, in the words of Orlando Cepeda, "to Latin ballplayers what Jackie Robinson is to black ballplayers." He began his American baseball career in the Negro Leagues, where he played, fittingly, with the New York Cubans from 1946 to 1948.

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Rodon will take Sale's spot in Cactus rotation

Pitching coach Cooper says top prospect should start vs. Padres

Rodon will take Sale's spot in Cactus rotation

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper paused for a moment when asked about the Cactus League rotation replacement for Chris Sale beginning this Friday against the Padres in Peoria. He originally listed the starter as to be determined, but then quickly changed his mind.

"I'll tell you what," Cooper said. "Expect to see Carlos Rodon in that spot."

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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.

Beckham getting work around infield

Beckham getting work around infield

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Gordon Beckham can play second base. That point was more than capably proven during parts of five seasons that Beckham handled the position for the White Sox.

While Beckham remains firmly in competition for the starting nod at second in 2015, he will see plenty of time around the infield during Cactus League play behind the super-utility role designed for the 28-year-old in his return to Chicago.

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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.

Pioneer Minoso has passion for life, baseball

Seven-time All-Star, first black Latino player in MLB, will attend Civil Rights Game

Pioneer Minoso has passion for life, baseball

This story was first published on Aug. 22, 2013. Minnie Minoso passed away on March 1, 2015.

CHICAGO -- The door leading to the White Sox executive offices at U.S. Cellular Field pushed open and Minnie Minoso strolled through.

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

Sale fractures right foot in accident at home

Left-hander to be sidelined for three weeks before resuming activities

Sale fractures right foot in accident at home

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Chris Sale sustained an avulsion fracture on the lateral side of his right foot as the result of an accident at his Arizona home Friday. The left-hander is expected to be sidelined three weeks before resuming baseball activities.

Sale, 25, underwent X-rays this morning at Banner Estrella Hospital in Glendale. He will undergo further tests once the swelling in his foot has subsided. At that point, his status for Opening Day will be better determined.

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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 Mitchell striving for consistent results

White Sox prospect slowed by injuries, unpredictable performance

Athletic Mitchell striving for consistent results

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Jared Mitchell was disappointed when he didn't get called up from Triple-A Charlotte last September. The 26-year-old outfielder had that same level of disappointment when outrighted off the White Sox 40-man-roster to Charlotte in late November.

But in the highly competitive world of professional sports, if played right, disappointment often becomes motivation. That idea represents Mitchell's thinking as the team's top pick from the 2009 First-Year Player Draft goes through Spring Training as a non-roster invite.

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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.

Michigan grad Putnam excited by new football coach

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Michigan grad Putnam excited by new football coach

Zach Putnam lives in Ann Arbor, Mich., during the offseason, so the White Sox reliever caught a first-hand view of the excitement surrounding favorite son Jim Harbaugh's return to take over the Wolverines football program.

"Just the excitement surrounding that was incredible," Putnam said. "I haven't seen a buzz like that in town in a long time."

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White Sox remain positive after Sale's injury

Early off-days give ace time to heal, club to plan

White Sox remain positive after Sale's injury

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The avulsion fracture sustained by White Sox ace Chris Sale in his right foot as the result of an accident at his Arizona home didn't seem to dull the southpaw's acerbic wit.

After general manager Rick Hahn explained that the injury happened when Sale landed awkwardly getting off the back of his truck and Sale talked about the same "freak incident," he was pushed again in regard to the cause. Sale came up with another explanation.

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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.

Webb overcame grief during rookie season

Reliever reflects on mother's passing last spring

Webb overcame grief during rookie season

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Bad days exist for relievers such as Daniel Webb. It's an inherent part of the job when making 57 appearances in a season as the 25-year-old right-hander did during his 2014 rookie campaign.

But walking a couple of hitters in an inning or allowing an occasional inherited runner to score isn't in the same ballpark as the pain Webb felt one year ago on Feb. 27, when his mother, Sandra, passed away suddenly at the age of 54. Webb was notified in Glendale as he was competing for a spot on the White Sox roster.

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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.

McEwing proud to be considered manager material

White Sox third-base coach among top candidates

McEwing proud to be considered manager material

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Joe McEwing didn't go looking for new baseball jobs during this past offseason, but other Major League teams certainly came calling.

In fact, the White Sox third-base coach interviewed for three managerial openings in the same week a little more than one week after the 2014 season came to a close. McEwing wasn't hired by the D-backs, Rangers or Twins, but the upbeat McEwing wasn't disappointed in the jobs going to Chip Hale, Jeff Banister and Paul Molitor, respectively.

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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.

Prolific base-stealer Pierre retires after 14-year career

Outfielder, who played for six teams, is not ready to coach

Prolific base-stealer Pierre retires after 14-year career

JUPITER, Fla. -- Juan Pierre, the catalyst of the Marlins' 2003 World Series title team and one of the most prolific base-stealers of his generation, has announced his retirement. The 37-year-old speedster is walking away from the game after an impressive 14-year career.

Pierre, who lives in south Florida, is now a self-proclaimed "stay-at-home dad." He also isn't ready to accept a coaching position at this point.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Duke adds arm angle to deceive hitters

Duke adds arm angle to deceive hitters

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Zach Duke wants to clear up a misconception concerning the changes he made in throwing the baseball.

"I didn't adjust my arm angle. I added a second one," said Duke after Friday's workouts at Camelback Ranch. "So, I throw from multiple angles. That's really what it is. I still throw from my normal angle. I just added a second one."

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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.

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.