GLENDALE, Ariz. — Whether he’s a starter, a jack-of-all-trades or an emergency catcher, Tyler Saladino figures to give the White Sox a little bit of everything — some speed, solid infield defense and, as he showed Monday, occasional pop with the bat.
Saladino’s grand slam against Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco was his third home run of the spring. That’s no great surprise, considering he popped eight homers in 319 plate appearances last season, when he ranked sixth among Sox position players in wins above replacement (1.8).
With top prospect Yoan Moncada destined to be the every-day second baseman at some point this season, Saladino can hold the position down while Moncada gets some at-bats at Class AAA early on. If and when Moncada arrives, Saladino can play pretty much anywhere else.
‘‘He’s a valuable asset to us as a flexible piece,’’ said manager Rick Renteria, who also has utility infielder Yolmer Sanchez and infield/outfield option Leury Garcia to give him versatility. ‘‘He’s an established major-league baseball player, whether it’s using him at second base or using him four or five days playing other positions, including second base. I’m not going to lock myself into one thing with any of them.’’
Saladino might want to save some hits for the regular season. He also doubled and singled against the Indians to raise his spring average to .480.
In addition to his eight homers, Saladino hit .282 with 38 RBI and 11 stolen bases last season.
Tilson to start on DL
Outfielder Charlie Tilson’s follow-up MRI exam confirmed the original diagnosis of a stress reaction in his right foot. He is in a walking boot and will start the season on the disabled list.
The good news for Tilson is there is no stress fracture. But he won’t perform any weight-bearing activities for at least three weeks before being re-evaluated.
Tilson tore his left hamstring in his major-league debut last season, rehabbed the injury and came to camp as the top contender to start the season in center field.
Good old No. 14
The Sox scored 14 runs in the ninth inning late Sunday against the Dodgers. It might have been more appropriate had they done so on the day Paul Konerko visited camp last week.
The blitz erased a 3-1 deficit, but it was no thing of beauty, with four errors, three walks and two hit batters included. The Sox did have seven hits in the inning, including two by Jason Bourgeois.
Renteria was pleased with many of the at-bats, but he felt for the Dodgers in the 40-minute inning.
‘‘I can imagine how they felt on the other side,’’ he said.
Follow me on Twitter @CST_soxvan.