GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Jeff Keppinger began the on-field portion of his White Sox career with a single to center against Zack Greinke during Sunday's Cactus League contest with the Dodgers. Keppinger hit second, a spot in the lineup he figures to see frequently during the season, but started at designated hitter.
Keppinger continues building up arm strength, "being able to throw the ball across the infield," as he said Sunday, after his arm strength was diminished because he couldn't push off the back leg and throw due to recovery from a broken right fibula suffered during the offseason.
"I'm sure I'll be out there in a few days," Keppinger said of playing third. "I wasn't able to push off pretty much until I got down here, so I've had two weeks to start throwing. I'm on a throwing program, so as soon as I get it up strong enough, then they're going to throw me out there.
"Since we're down here early, there was really no rush to try to get it in super fast. I've been doing a lot of strengthening to it and it's holding up fine. I haven't had any swelling. All activities have been full-go to do. I haven't had any setbacks."
Getting out of the box is fine for Keppinger. The bigger test, even more so than on defense, is "secondary leads when you have to push back and get back to the bag, when you're going one direction," Keppinger explained.