GLENDALE, Ariz. –Tyler Saladino said the arrival of Jimmy Rollins to camp — the former National League MVP is expected to be at White Sox camp Thursday — doesn’t change his approach to spring training.
“Pretty much just keep doing what you’re doing,” Saladino said Tuesday, a day after the Sox signed the 37-year-old Rollins to either be the team’s No. 1 shortstop or a mentor to Saladino and prospect Tim Anderson — or both. “Just keep working every day, getting ready for the season and with him coming in, just learn from him and do those kinds of things.”
Saladino seemed to take it in stride, but it had to be somewhat tough to take. He came to camp as the team’s top option at shortstop after the club declined to pick up Alexei Ramirez’s option. If Rollins, who will be paid $2 million if he makes the club, doesn’t have enough left on the offensive side, Saladino — who is a good defender — may end up still being the guy.
Saladino said Rollins’ presence won’t change things for him.
“No. It’s the same work every day, same routine,” Saladino said. “Just stay on track with that and just prepare for the season.”
Rollins’ offense slipped in 2015 when he served as the Los Angeles’ Dodgers’ bridge to hot prospect Kyle Seager. Anderson is the Sox’ shortstop of the future, a former first-round pick with very good hit and speed tools.
“I know a lot [about him],” Anderson said. “Just watching him growing up, he was one of the guys I looked up to. He was just a great overall player.
“It’s cool. I may get star-struck when I see him. It’s a guy I look up to, and I’m really looking forward to working with him.”
Said Saladino: “It’s just exciting. Who wouldn’t be excited about getting to work with a guy like that? As far as the competition side of it, you can’t veer off what you do every day. Just stay on track and like I was saying, take advantage of every day we have out here and get ready for the season.”