Samardzija eager to get season started on right foot

Becomes just second pitcher to be Opening Day starter on both sides of Chicago

Samardzija eager to get season started on right foot

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- For the third straight season, Jeff Samardzija has been tabbed an Opening Day starter. Only in 2015, following two stints with the Cubs in Pittsburgh on Day 1, Samardzija will be representing the White Sox in Kansas City on April 6.

That poorly kept secret was made official by manager Robin Ventura on Wednesday evening. Samardzija addressed this latest honor on Thursday morning in the White Sox clubhouse.

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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.

Robertson managing soreness in right forearm

Closer intent on being ready for regular season

Robertson managing soreness in right forearm

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- David Robertson was surprised to see the media gathered around his locker following Thursday morning's workout at Camelback Ranch. But when the word "soreness" is attached to a team's closer, albeit a non-worrisome attachment, it certainly draws some interest.

Robertson mentioned that he has a little soreness in his forearm, but he threw a 25-pitch bullpen before the White Sox contest against the Dodgers and reported no issues.

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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 have Thome as mentor

Slugger's presence with organization helped sway free agent's decision

LaRoche happy to have Thome as mentor

GLEANDALE, Ariz. -- There were numerous reasons why Adam LaRoche picked the White Sox via the free-agent process.

Being part of an up-and-coming team with a chance to succeed in 2015. A familiarity with the organization, including manager Robin Ventura, and pleasant memories from his dad, Dave, serving as the White Sox bullpen coach from 1989-91 when he was a kid. And a two-year, $25 million contract certainly didn't hurt the cause.

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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.

Samardzija named White Sox Opening Day starter

Two previous assignments came with Cubs

Samardzija named White Sox Opening Day starter

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Jeff Samardzija has already proven himself to the city of Chicago as a very capable Opening Day starter. This time around, he'll get to do so for the club from the South Side.

Samardzija will be on the hill opposite Yordano Ventura when the White Sox open their season in Kansas City on April 6, manager Robin Ventura announced Wednesday. The club had initially tabbed Chris Sale, but those plans were nullified when Sale sustained an avulsion fracture of his right foot early in camp.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

MLB Pipeline checks in from White Sox camp

Outfielder Hawkins impresses at plate; righty Adams discusses first Spring Training

MLB Pipeline checks in from White Sox camp

Every Spring Training, prospects get a chance to show what they can do as they prepare for the season ahead. Some are competing for jobs in big league camp, others are prepping for the season as they vie for spots at Minor League affiliates up and down a team's system. MLBPipeline.com will be visiting all 30 camps this spring. Today, we check in on the Chicago White Sox.

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The White Sox, for a time, had a reputation of taking toolsy yet risky high school athletes in the Draft. While the jury is still out on some of those selections, it certainly hasn't been foolproof. But thanks to some high-end pitching taken in the 2014 Draft and some work on the international front, the system appears to be moving in a better direction.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayoB3 on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rodon showcases nasty stuff, strikes out 9 Royals

Allows four hits over four; Avi, Barnum homer

Rodon showcases nasty stuff, strikes out 9 Royals

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon gave the Kansas City Royals an early glimpse of his talents on Wednesday night. His division rivals to-be can't have liked what they saw.

Rodon, Chicago's top prospect and the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, allowed just four singles and struck out nine Royals over four innings, as the White Sox knocked off their American League Central foes, 6-0, at Surprise Stadium.

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AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sale targeting April 12 for first start of season

Ace throws 30 pitches in bullpen session

Sale targeting April 12 for first start of season

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- White Sox ace Chris Sale threw about 30 pitches in a bullpen session Wednesday afternoon, and he came away feeling no pain in his injured right foot.

Sale, who sustained an avulsion fracture in the foot in late February, tentatively set April 12 as a target date for his return -- the first time the White Sox would need to use a fifth starter.

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

Rodon, Austin don't miss a beat in reunion

College roommates find comfort zone vs. Royals

Rodon, Austin don't miss a beat in reunion

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Carlos Rodon and Brett Austin have shared quite a few big moments on the diamond -- most notably a trip to the 2013 College World Series with North Carolina State.

On Wednesday, the former college roommates got their first chance to work together professionally, and clearly they haven't missed a beat.

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

Jirscheles enjoy seeing each other from across the diamond

Royals third-base coach, White Sox Minor Leaguer look on from opposing dugouts

Jirscheles enjoy seeing each other from across the diamond

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Mike and Justin Jirschele have undoubtedly spent plenty of time together on the baseball diamond. On Wednesday night, they got to do so from opposing dugouts.

Before the White Sox 6-0 victory over Kansas City, Mike, the Royals' third-base coach, exchanged lineup cards with his son, an infielder in the White Sox system.

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

White Sox trim roster to 41 players

Brantly, Hawkins and Diaz sent to Minors

White Sox trim roster to 41 players

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The White Sox trimmed their Major League roster to 41 players Wednesday, as they optioned catcher Rob Brantly to Triple-A Charlotte and reassigned shortstop Juan Diaz and outfielder Courtney Hawkins to Minor League camp.

Hawkins, ranked No. 9 on the White Sox top prospects list, stood out this spring, hitting .412 with four homers and an .853 slugging percentage. But with the season fast approaching, the South Siders will likely shift to giving their regulars a bigger workload, leaving fewer at-bats for Hawkins.

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

If plan falls short in '15, White Sox won't panic

Flexibility key to long-term, sustained success

If plan falls short in '15, White Sox won't panic

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Cloudy days don't really exist under the perpetual Arizona sunshine, so it's easy to see why the White Sox outlook toward the 2015 season remains so bright.

That positive feeling also could have something to do with the eight impact moves made by general manager Rick Hahn this past offseason to put the team into playoff contention, at least on paper. But here's a thought the White Sox don't want to entertain: What if this next level of reshaping doesn't work in '15? What if the club's high-water mark becomes just a handful of wins better than the 2014 total of 73, and the team is 10 or 11 games out of first place in late June or July?

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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 goes deep for first time in loss to Rockies

Flowers hits two-run homer; Danks works 4 2/3

Abreu goes deep for first time in loss to Rockies

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- In a battle of big innings, the Rockies won out with a 7-6 victory over the White Sox on Tuesday at Camelback Ranch.

Colorado scored six runs in the fifth off of John Danks and Matt Albers, with three of those runs being earned, to counter Chicago, which scored five unearned runs in the fourth off of Jordan Lyles.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sale's throwing schedule laid out by Cooper

Lefty to throw bullpen session on Wednesday

Sale's throwing schedule laid out by Cooper

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Chris Sale fell victim to a common malady experienced by many players during Spring Training. The days of the week ran together for him in Arizona.

So when Sale talked Monday about throwing a bullpen "tomorrow," he actually thought tomorrow was Wednesday, when he actually will be throwing. As White Sox television play-by-play announcer Ken "Hawk" Harrelson would say, "Right size, wrong shape."

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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.

Day at camp an emotional experience for White Sox fan

Unable to speak after being diagnosed with ALS, Von Schaumburg meets players, throws first pitch

Day at camp an emotional experience for White Sox fan

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Eric Von Schaumburg has lost the ability to speak during his battle with ALS, which began two years ago when he was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease and given 2-5 years to live.

Words weren't necessary for the 31-year-old to express his joy Tuesday when he spent the day with the White Sox at Camelback Ranch. Von Schaumburg communicates through typing words on a computer screen and is aided by his devoted fiancée, Lindsay Rudhman. The diehard White Sox fan had the chance to meet some of his favorite players, as well as manager Robin Ventura and executive vice president Ken Williams.

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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.

Flowers making strides at plate despite spring struggles

Improved White Sox lineup expected to take offensive pressure off catcher

Flowers making strides at plate despite spring struggles

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- During a recent Cactus League game at Maryvale Baseball Park, Tyler Flowers was greeted by a fan in the stands who didn't think much of the catcher's ability.

Flowers smiled and gave the disapproving fan the thumbs-up sign.

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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.

L. Garcia, Montas among seven sent to Minors

Crain still not throwing; Danks eyes 200 innings

L. Garcia, Montas among seven sent to Minors

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The White Sox made seven roster moves prior to Tuesday's 7-6 loss to the Rockies at Camelback Ranch.

Infielder Leury Garcia, left-handed pitcher Onelki Garcia and infielder Andy Wilkins were optioned to Triple-A Charlotte. Right-handed pitcher Frankie Montas was optioned to Double-A Birmingham and right-handed pitchers Logan Kensing and Nolan Sanburn and left-handed pitcher Joe Savery were reassigned to Minor League camp.

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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's crisp outing fizzles in five-run fifth

Works 4 shutout innings before finding trouble

Quintana's crisp outing fizzles in five-run fifth

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Tyson Ross tossed five scoreless innings, striking out five, and Cameron Maybin knocked in two runs with a double Monday as the Padres topped the White Sox, 10-4, in a Cactus League game at the Peoria Sports Complex.

Ross allowed one walk and one hit, and that hit was lost in the sun by Maybin, in center field in the fourth inning. Cory Spangenberg drove in three runs with a seventh-inning triple, and Jake Goebbert had an RBI double and Abraham Almonte had a sac fly in the eighth. With the win, the Padres improved to 10-10.

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

Abreu provides first insight into defection from Cuba

Speaks briefly of trip to Haiti in magazine article

Abreu provides first insight into defection from Cuba

PEORIA, Ariz. -- For the first time since joining the White Sox, Jose Abreu, the reigning American League Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player candidate, has talked about his departure from Cuba.

Abreu sat down with a reporter form Chicago Magazine in January to discuss his 12-hour journey that included his fiancée, Yusmary, his parents, Daisy Correa and Jose, and his sister and her husband from Cuba to Haiti on a tiny boat in August 2013. He told the reporter that the trip was dangerous, but "God gave us the chance to reach our destination."

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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 says he's Game 2 starter for White Sox

Official decision not public; Johnson apologizes for miscues

Quintana says he's Game 2 starter for White Sox

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Here's a little assistance in solving the White Sox Opening Day starter equation.

Jeff Samardzija or Jose Quintana will get the nod on April 6 in Kansas City, and following his 4 1/3-inning effort on Monday in a 10-4 loss to the Padres, Quintana said that he was told he'll be starting Game 2 of the regular season against the Royals. That statement would mean Samardzija makes his third straight Opening Day start and joins Jaime Navarro as Opening Day starter one season with the Cubs and the next with 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. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Country star Bryan crashes White Sox party

Participates in drills and BP and meets Bo Jackson

Country star Bryan crashes White Sox party

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Bo Jackson knows baseball. Bo knows the White Sox. After Monday morning's workout at Camelback Ranch, Bo now knows Luke Bryan.

The country-music star shagged some fly balls, took some swings and had an overall good time. The close friend of White Sox designated hitter/first baseman Adam LaRoche also came to the decision that he picked the right career, despite many recording artists wanting to be athletes and vice versa.

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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.

Reds send Soto to White Sox for cash

Corner infielder, once considered rising prospect, struggled with bat in bigs

Reds send Soto to White Sox for cash

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Reds traded Minor League corner infielder Neftali Soto to the White Sox on Monday for cash considerations.

Although he batted .302/.350/.406 last season for Triple-A Louisville, Soto wasn't able to take advantage of big league callups in both 2013 and '14. In five stints for Cincinnati over those seasons, he batted .071 (3-for-42) with one RBI.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Homers sting Samardzija in loss against Brewers

Ramirez leads White Sox offense with pair of hits, RBIs

Homers sting Samardzija in loss against Brewers

PHOENIX -- Jonathan Lucroy and Ryan Braun hit back-to-back home runs in the fifth inning against White Sox ace Jeff Samardzija, who surrendered a trio of homers in Sunday's Cactus League start against the Brewers at Maryvale Baseball Park. The Brewers finished with a total of five homers in the 13-4 victory.

Logan Schafer also went deep against Samardzija in the fourth inning. After the White Sox scored in the top of the fifth for a 2-2 tie, Lucroy connected for a two-out, two-run home run in the bottom of the inning and Braun followed with a solo shot.

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Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Starting or relieving, Rodon ready to help White Sox win

Top prospect gets in work out of 'pen, but may not start there in 2015

Starting or relieving, Rodon ready to help White Sox win

PHOENIX -- Carlos Rodon could help the White Sox out of the bullpen during the 2015 season. Manager Robin Ventura believes the third overall pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft has the stuff to be able to work effectively in that area.

But Rodon's Cactus League debut in relief on Saturday against the Royals, following three Spring Training starts, doesn't necessarily indicate that the team is taking a closer look at the 22-year-old as part of the relief crew breaking camp.

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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.

Samardzija happy with outing despite homers

Right-hander not concerned by pitching line, feels great after start

Samardzija happy with outing despite homers

PHOENIX -- Milwaukee touched up White Sox starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija for three home runs over 4 1/3 innings and 76 pitches on Sunday afternoon. Samardzija didn't seem overly concerned with these particular results.

"They hit a homer in Maryvale? That's OK. You make some pitches and those things happen," said Samardzija with a wry smile. "I feel great. I made some adjustments from last time out. I thought we were in the zone, hitting the spot a little more. Worked in some off-speed pitches. Overall, I'm pretty happy with 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.

Veteran Ramirez pleased with new-look White Sox

Shortstop looks strong in camp, leading club in RBIs

Veteran Ramirez pleased with new-look White Sox

PHOENIX -- At the age of 33 and with the team since 2008, Alexei Ramirez has become one of the White Sox elder statesmen.

Only John Danks has more White Sox service time than their shortstop, but Ramirez certainly is playing with a youthful exuberance during this current Spring Training. His two hits Sunday raised Ramirez's average to .396 and his RBI total of 13 tops all White Sox hitters.

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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.

Robertson excited to make fresh start with White Sox

Closer enjoying process of getting to know new teammates

Robertson excited to make fresh start with White Sox

David Robertson has moved from the Bronx to the south side of Chicago and couldn't be more excited.

The right-hander signed a four-year, $46 million contract with the White Sox during the offseason after pitching for the Yankees for seven seasons. He'll be Chicago's closer, a role he occupied for the first time with New York in 2014.

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

As Hawkins climbs ranks, outfielder remains humble

Prospect knows good attitude is important at start of career

As Hawkins climbs ranks, outfielder remains humble

PHOENIX -- When Courtney Hawkins arrived with the White Sox as the 13th pick overall in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, he was described as featuring a big league attitude.

Big league attitude, as in possessing confidence, brashness and the knowledge that he had the talent and work ethic to succeed at the ultimate professional level. All of those traits are positive attributes for a top pick coming from high school, in case there is any doubt, but in the world of the White Sox No. 9 prospect per MLB.com, C is for confidence and not cockiness.

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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.

Hawkins' hot spring reaches new high with two homers

Penny continues to get chance at spot in rotation

Hawkins' hot spring reaches new high with two homers

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Courtney Hawkins had a full day's worth of Cactus League action in just three innings during the White Sox 6-4 victory over the Royals Saturday at Camelback Ranch.

Hawkins replaced J.B. Shuck in left field in the top of the sixth and then launched a game-tying, two-run homer off of Franklin Morales in the seventh. With the game still tied and one out in the ninth, Hawkins launched a mammoth two-run, two-strike walk-off shot to center off of Brandon Finnegan to give him a team-high four homers.

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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.