White Sox

Cody Asche has already settled in with White Sox

Cody Asche has already settled in with White Sox

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Joining a new team after six pro seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies didn't exactly put Cody Asche's mind at ease last month.

Then he set foot into the White Sox clubhouse.

A non-roster invitee to camp, Asche has since found a comfort zone and it has translated to the field. With 11 days left in camp, Asche -- hitting .364/.563/.909 with six extra-base hits in 32 plate appearances -- is firmly in the mix for the Opening Day roster. 

"You lay awake at night before you come to spring training with a new club wondering how it's going to be and how scary it could be, being it's your first time," Asche said. "It's nothing like I would have imagined. I felt like I fit in right away, and I'm really taken aback by the humbleness of the superstars in this room, (Jose) Abreu, (Todd) Frazier, (Jose) Quintana. Those guys, they're really great teammates."

A fourth-round draft pick in 2011, Asche was "very surprised" when the Phillies decided to designate him for assignment on Dec. 2. The University of Nebraska-product quickly rose through Philadelphia's farm system and was promoted to the majors late in the 2013 season. Asche -- who hit 31 homers and has a .684 career OPS in 1,287 PAs -- struggled defensively at third base in 2013 and 2014, which prompted the Phillies to switch him to the outfield the past two seasons. Arbitration eligible this offseason for the first time and due a raise, Philadelphia opted to move on.

"I didn't see that coming at all," Asche said. "I thought at least I would be back in camp and fighting for a job again. That's baseball. That's how it goes. I wasn't the first, and I won't be the last.

"I don't want to prove to them anything. A lot of people have to make tough decisions in this game. Sometimes they're right and sometimes they're wrong."

The White Sox are hopeful the Phillies were incorrect in their evaluation of Asche, who signed a minor-league deal with an invite to camp on Dec. 22. Though he faces longer odds as a non-roster invitee, Asche's chances are helped because he's one of the few left-handed sticks in camp.

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The White Sox have added some flexibility to Asche's game by trying him out at first base this spring. They've been pleased with how he's handled his chances there as well as his offensive performance, which includes three doubles, three homers and nine walks in 32 trips.

"He's making it tough on everybody," manager Rick Renteria said. "Done a nice job preparing, executing and the things he is capable of doing. He's a pro and is doing things he's capable of, not trying to do too much. He's shown well. He's a pro and a person that kind of grows on you. He's pretty witty and very professional going about your business."

Asche said it didn't take long to feel comfortable in his new digs. He and Renteria had a chat at the start of camp where the manager "laid it on the line and told me what was going to be expected of me," Asche said. He has since found plenty of friendly faces, whether it's a quick word with Abreu or joking with Frazier.

Asche thinks he's matured as a person over the last few years. Though it has been tough to move on from old friends in Philly, Asche said he's only looking forward.

"No one wants to be DFAed from their parent club that drafted them and brought them up, but I always welcome new challenges," Asche said. "It's been real easy to play for these guys and around this group of teammates.

"I want to be a part of this culture. I want to be a part of this team. I want to play hard for Ricky. "I want to play hard for the guys in this room, and that's really all I'm focused on."
 

White Sox mourn passing of former pitcher Daniel Webb

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USA TODAY

White Sox mourn passing of former pitcher Daniel Webb

Former White Sox pitcher Daniel Webb died at the age of 28 in an ATV accident on Saturday night, according to Humphreys County Sheriff Chris Davis.

Davis called it a “tragic accident, and we should rally around the family.”

Webb, a Paducah, Ky. native, was with the White Sox from 2013-16 and went 7-5 with a 4.50 ERA.

The White Sox released this statement:

Daniel left many friends within the Chicago White Sox organization, and we are all shocked and stunned by the news of last night's terrible accident. He was a terrific young man with a full life ahead of him. All thoughts and prayers go to his family and friends as they deal with today's tragic news.

White Sox Talk Podcast: White Sox fans take over

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: White Sox fans take over

To celebrate the 1-year anniversary of the podcast we opened the show up to our listeners to ask all the questions and choose all the topics in this All-Request White Sox Talk Podcast.

We hit a wide variety of topics ranging from possible White Sox trades, Tim Anderson's future, Rick Hahn's best and worst deals, making Carlos Rodon a reliever and many more. Every fan who had his/her question randomly selected wins a prize: everything from a Frank Thomas rookie baseball card to a Hawk Harrelson Alarm Clock.

Listen to the full episode in the embedded player below: