Sale remains on track for April 12 season debut

White Sox ace dominant in Minor League outing, feels 'really good'

Sale remains on track for April 12 season debut

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- It was not exactly a comfortable afternoon for the Reds' Class A Minor Leaguers, who had to face Chris Sale and his full arsenal of pitching weapons Wednesday on a back field at Camelback Ranch. And that lack of comfort is a good sign for the left-handed ace and everyone throughout the White Sox organization.

Sale threw 90 pitches over six-plus innings, 67 for strikes. He yielded one run on an opposite-field homer, didn't walk a batter and struck out 13. An April 12 return to the mound at U.S. Cellular Field looks more and more likely, with the best-case scenario coming out of the worst-case scenario involving the right foot avulsion fracture Sale suffered Feb. 27 at his Arizona home.

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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 reassigned to Minors after impressive spring

Top White Sox prospect worked on repertoire, built confidence and comfort

Rodon reassigned to Minors after impressive spring

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The reassignment of Carlos Rodon to Minor League camp by the White Sox on Wednesday came as little surprise to anyone, including the 22-year-old southpaw. In fact, Rodon said Wednesday that he knew about the move a couple of days before.

But the inevitable move for MLB.'s No. 1 prospect in the organization doesn't take away from his great showing in this first big league camp. Rodon, who pitched 5 1/3 innings Tuesday against the Dodgers, yielded 17 hits and six earned runs over 17 2/3 innings, while striking out 21, walking five and giving up just one home run.

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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.

Working on his stuff, Shark not bothered by spring HRs

White Sox righty ready for Opening Day nod

Working on his stuff, Shark not bothered by spring HRs

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Nine home runs allowed over 21 1/3 innings stand as the bad news for Jeff Samardzija amid his five Cactus League starts in his first season with the White Sox. Only two walks allowed against 18 strikeouts qualify as good news for Samardzija's body of work.

And the best news for the club's Opening Day starter is that he's now ready to go when games matter, starting Monday in Kansas City.

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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.

Sox split squad racks up 22 hits, routs Mariners

Farrell, Sanchez have four hits apiece, while Garcia homers, drives in four

Sox split squad racks up 22 hits, routs Mariners

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Designated hitter Jeremy Farrell and second baseman Carlos Sanchez each racked up four hits as a White Sox split-squad team hammered Seattle, 12-4, in Cactus League play Wednesday afternoon at Peoria Stadium.

Farrell, a Minor League callup playing his first Cactus League game of the spring, had a home run and double along with three runs and two RBIs, while Sanchez laced four singles with a walk on a 22-hit day for the White Sox. Right fielder Avisail Garcia went 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs, while first baseman Jose Abreu continued his spring tear by going 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Shark roughed up early by Padres in final Cactus start

White Sox Opening Day starter allows five runs

Shark roughed up early by Padres in final Cactus start

PHOENIX -- Jedd Gyorko drilled a three-run home run, Yangervis Solarte added a two-run shot and James Shields was sharp in his final tuneup for Opening Day as the Padres defeated the White Sox, 8-2, on Wednesday at Camelback Ranch.

Gyorko's home run came as part of a five-run first inning off White Sox pitcher Jeff Samardzija, who like Shields will also start Opening Day.

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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.

Pitching a major point of emphasis for White Sox

Pitching a major point of emphasis for White Sox

In the days leading up to Opening Day, MLB.com is examining various aspects of each team's roster. Today, the time has come to focus on a key number for the upcoming season. For the White Sox, it's 4.29 -- their team ERA, which was third worst in the American League.

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The White Sox had a valuable lesson reinforced during the 2005 season that many other World Series champions to follow have agreed upon.

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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.

Albers, Soto and Sanchez make Opening Day roster

Albers, Soto and Sanchez make Opening Day roster

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- After missing all but eight games in 2014 with the Astros due to a partially torn subscapularis muscle, Matt Albers mainly had one thing to show when he came to White Sox camp as a non-roster invite.

"I think just prove that I was healthy," said Albers, who will leave Spring Training as part of the White Sox bullpen. "Just the way the ball is coming out from beginning to end of camp, I feel like my stuff has been there the whole time and I pitched pretty well. I just kind of come in and it's kind of what they wanted to see and I was able to show them."

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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.

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.

"That's the plan, to come to Spring Training and start the season hot," said Abreu, through translator and White Sox Spanish language broadcaster Billy Russo. "Right now, I am very glad about what my results are, and I think I can keep the momentum into the season. I'm ready for the season. I am anxious and tired, because the sun is so hot here."

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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.

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: Spring big for comfort level facing big leaguers

Rodon: Spring big for comfort level facing big leaguers

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Carlos Rodon threw 90 pitches in his final Cactus League start during Tuesday's 2-1 victory over the Dodgers at Camelback Ranch. Twenty of those pitchers were changeups, with the standout southpaw guessing that only nine or 10 were sliders.

It's a big difference from the 28 sliders Rodon threw during his nine-strikeout dominance last Wednesday against the Royals.

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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.

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.