Sooner than expected, Andrew Vaughn returns to White Sox’ lineup

Paul Konerko talks to the team.

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Andrew Vaughn talks to reporters at Camelback Ranch Sunday morning. (Daryl Van Schouwen)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Andrew Vaughn is healing quickly.

When you have a swing Paul Konerko admires, that’s a good thing for the White Sox.

Vaughn, who suffered a hip pointer diving for a fly ball in right field last Sunday, returned to the Sox’ lineup for their Cactus League game against the Rockies on Sunday at Camelback Ranch, five days before the season opener in Detroit. Vaughn went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and a walk.

“I mean, when it happened, I really didn’t think it was going to go this quick,” Vaughn said of his swift recovery. “Two days after, I was walking. I feel good.”

When Vaughn went off the field on a cart, Opening Day seemed unlikely.

“He’s moving around terrific,” manager Tony La Russa said. “I reprimanded him for that act he put on that had us worried it was much more serious. He smiled. I would have never guessed he would be playing today. Tough guy, strong guy.”

Vaughn spoke moments before Konerko addressed the team in the clubhouse. Konerko lives in the Phoenix area and was asked by chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and La Russa to talk to the team.

Konerko had an attentive audience.

“You could hear a pin drop,” Vaughn said.

Konerko said he talked about “what you need to do to win in October and what kind of player you need to be, what kind of team you need to be.”

Vaughn, who turned 23 Sunday, and Konerko, 46, had connected before. Konerko likes Vaughn’s swing path and polish at such a young age.

“At such an early age, to already have the mannerisms of that seasoned hitter is what sticks out,” Konerko said.

Vaughn batted .235/.309/.396 last season with 15 home runs and 48 RBI. He’s 7-for-15 with a home run this spring. Konerko said Vaughn “has it.”

“You see guys that have it, but he’s a young guy who doesn’t have a whole lot of reps under his belt that already has that professional-hitter vibe,” Konerko said.

Collins traded to Jays for catcher McGuire

In a swap of left-handed-hitting catchers, the Sox sent Zack Collins to the Blue Jays for Reese McGuire, who could be the No. 2 catcher behind Yasmani Grandal. In McGuire, the Sox get a well-regarded defensive catcher who batted .253/.310/.343 with one homer in a career-high 219 plate appearances last season.

McGuire, 27, is a career .248/.297/.390 hitter with 10 homers over parts of four seasons with the Jays. He is out of options and was in a three-catcher mix with Toronto and rates an edge over Seby Zavala and Nick Ciuffo on the Sox’ depth chart.

“We view [McGuire] as a very strong defensive backstop, solid on framing and lateral movement as well as catching and throwing and handling a game plan and managing a pitching staff,” general manager Rick Hahn said. “A good complement to Yas.”

McGuire was charged with indecent exposure after an incident in February 2020 at a shopping-center parking lot in Dunedin, Florida. McGuire later pleaded no contest to a disorderly conduct charge, a second-degree misdemeanor, and was fined $500.

Collins, a first-round draft pick in 2016, was a .195/.315/.330 hitter over three seasons who struggled defensively. He never lived up to expectations with the Sox, who had optioned him to Triple-A Charlotte on Friday.

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