Rick Renteria says White Sox fans ‘should be excited’

SHARE Rick Renteria says White Sox fans ‘should be excited’

Manager Rick Renteria brings out the White Sox lineup card to umpires prior to a spring training baseball game against the A’s last Wednesday, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The White Sox left Arizona a little nicked up Wednesday. And for a team that — on paper, at least — lacks the punch, pitching and depth to contend even at full strength, that had to hurt.

Carlos Rodon, their No. 2 starter and a potential future ace, will start the season on the disabled list with bursitis in his left biceps. Charlie Tilson, a prospect to whom the Sox were giving the first crack in center field, is wearing a walking boot on his right foot. And in the final week in Arizona, with everyone ready to go and playing out the spring string, there were two more injury scares when right-hander Jake Petricka took a liner off his pitching hand and infielder Tyler Saladino was hit on the left wrist by a pitch in a minor-league game.

Petricka and Saladino appear to be OK. Saladino played second base and led off the first inning of the Sox’ Cactus League finale Wednesday with a home run, his fourth of the spring.

The Sox are rebuilding, so they are taking temporary personnel losses in stride. Rick Renteria wrapped up his first camp as the Sox’ manager stressing execution, fundamentals and situational hitting on the field and being proactive about team bonding off it.

‘‘We’ve accomplished a lot,’’ Renteria said. ‘‘Our approach to the game has kind of improved. We’re trying to situationally play the game better on the offensive side. Our approach is to give a good effort, to hustle, to come out of the box and do things you need to put pressure on the defense.

‘‘[The players are] all coming together in terms of their desire and willingness to play team baseball. We’re just looking for a solid approach to playing the game of baseball that gives us an opportunity to win some ballgames.’’

Renteria said the Sox won’t officially set their 25-man roster until the weekend, but it might look like this: pitchers Jose Quintana, James Shields, Miguel Gonzalez, Derek Holland, Dylan Covey, David Robertson, Nate Jones, Petricka, Zach Putnam, Dan Jennings, Anthony Swarzak and Michael Ynoa; outfielders Melky Cabrera, Avisail Garcia, Jacob May and Cody Asche; infielders Todd Frazier, Tim Anderson, Saladino, Yolmer Sanchez, Matt Davidson, Jose Abreu and Leury Garcia; and catchers Omar Narvaez and Geovany Soto.

The biggest names gone from 2016 are left-hander Chris Sale and outfielder Adam Eaton, who were dealt for prospects with promising futures. Some in that group, such as Yoan Moncada and Reynaldo Lopez, might be up before midseason, depending on how they fare at Class AAA Charlotte. Veterans, though, might be shown the door as the trade deadline nears and the rebuilding process evolves.

‘‘I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this spring,’’ pitching coach Don Cooper said. ‘‘Maybe it’s the newness, the youth, where we’re at, where we’re going. Rick [is] laying the foundation of who we want to be going forward. The coaching staff, we’re [as] prepared as we’ve ever been. It’s all good.’’

While Sox fans wait to see the prospects in Chicago, Renteria said they have something to be excited about now.

‘‘They should be excited,’’ he said. ‘‘We’re coming out of the spring playing pretty well. I believe the future is bright for the Chicago White Sox, and that is evident by all the guys we highlighted during the course of the spring. We’re looking forward to fun times this summer.

‘‘I’m sure we’re going to hit bumps and bruises, like any club — good, veteran or young. But we’ll try to play through it, do the best we possibly can and make the people happy who come out and see a club that gives them a tremendous effort.’’

Follow me on Twitter @CST_soxvan.

Email: dvanschouwen@suntimes.com


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