White Sox’ Joakim Soria feeling no signs of wear and tear
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GLENDALE, Ariz. — Right-hander Joakim Soria is closing in on 34, but the White Sox’ likely closer says he’s feeling no signs of aging.
“I’ve had 12 [major-league camps], but I still feel young, so I go about spring training like a young guy,” Soria said Sunday. “Obviously, with a lot more experience.’’
Soria said he’s not sure yet when his first Cactus League appearance will be or how many spring games he’ll need to be ready.
“Some years, you need more than others,’’ he said. “You go day by day here, see how the arm and body feel. Communication is great with [pitching coach Don] Cooper.’’
Manager Rick Renteria hasn’t dubbed Soria the closer just yet, but the Sox traded for him and his $9 million salary — which puts him behind James Shields’ $21 million ($10 million paid by the Sox) and Jose Abreu’s $13 million on the team’s money-maker list — to likely use him in the ninth. He has 203 career saves.
Last season with the Royals, Soria was 4-3 with a 3.70 ERA and had one save in 59 appearances.
With a 92-93 mph fastball, Soria still uses four pitches to get the job done, although his four-seamer has been a good swing-and-miss pitch. He also features a changeup, curve and slider.
“I’ve never relied on a big fastball,’’ Soria said, “so I need an assortment of pitches. Getting major-league hitters out is not an easy task. You have to adjust, and my adjustment is to use four pitches.’’
Better news for Adolfo
While Tommy John surgery remains a possibility later this year for Micker Adolfo, the Sox say their highly regarded 21-year-old outfield prospect is healthy enough to resume hitting drills and can be used as a designated hitter during spring-training games and at Class A Winston-Salem when the season begins.
Adolfo has a sprained ulnar collateral ligament and flexor tendon tear in his throwing arm and won’t throw or participate in fielding drills, but after getting a second medical opinion, he’ll get as many at-bats as he can. If surgery is needed, it can be timed for him to be ready for 2019 fully healthy.
Continuing his offensive development with needed at-bats and having the assurance the elbow is at no further risk, “we felt this was the most prudent overall path to go down,’’ general manager Rick Hahn said.
Adolfo was in much better spirits Sunday than he was two days ago, when it was announced he’d be out for at least six weeks.
“It sucks that I’m not going to be able to play defense and continue working out in right field, but this is a major opportunity for me to get better at the plate,’’ Adolfo said. “That’s what they pay you for at the big-league level.’’
This and that
The Sox have the third-youngest 40-man roster in the majors and the youngest in the American League with an average age of 26.6, according to STATS.
◆ Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf turned 82 Sunday.
South Side hit man
Matt Davidson hit 26 home runs in 2017, second among rookies in the American League and the fourth-highest total by a Sox rookie, and has blasted a boatload of tape-measure batting-practice bombs this spring. On Sunday, the power show continued at Camelback Ranch with a three-run shot against Reds lefty Wandy Peralta. Davidson also drove in a run with a single in the Sox’ 8-5 victory.
Avisail Garcia, Yoan Moncada, Davidson, Zack Collins, Ryan Cordell and Luis Basabe strung six singles together in a five-run fourth. Tim Anderson started the inning with a double.
Lefty Jordan Guerrero struggled with command in his two-inning start, walking two, hitting a batter and giving up four runs and four hits, including a homer to Eugenio Suarez.
Prospect watch II
Luis Robert played four innings in center field and struck out in his only at-bat.
Athletics at White Sox, Glendale, Kendall Graveman vs. Michael Kopech, 2:05 p.m. Monday, whitesox.com.
Follow me on Twitter @CST_soxvan.