GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Jimmy Rollins is a pretty good bet to make the Opening Day roster for the White Sox, Robin Ventura said Wednesday.
On the eve of the team’s first spring training game, Ventura said he believes Rollins will make the club out of camp.
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The veteran shortstop signed a minor-league deal last week with the White Sox that would pay him $2 million if he reaches the majors. Rollins is competing with Tyler Saladino for the starting shortstop job and could also be used in a utility role. The White Sox open Cactus League play Thursday against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“I expect (Rollins) to make the team,” Ventura said. “Unless something happens physically where it wouldn’t work.”
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Rollins appeared in 144 games for the Dodgers in 2015. He hit .224/.285/.358 with 13 home runs and 12 steals in 563 plate appearances. Rollins could be considered the leading candidate to win the starting job. But, even if he did get named the starter, Saladino likely would see playing time at short in order to rest Rollins, 37.
“You want to hit it right on the nose where you’re not worrying about (rest),” Ventura said. “You want to get him as much as he can where he’s playing effective and doing all the right things in the first half that you don’t want to hold it all back just for the second half.”
In Year 2 of the rebuild, not much is expected from the White Sox in 2018. But is there more to this team than meets the eye? Could they compete this season and potentially follow the script of the Minnesota Twins, who went from 103 losses to a wild card spot in one year?
Chuck Garfien, Ryan McGuffey and Chris Kamka dig into the possibilities and provide cases for why and why not.
Plus, the guys announce the winner of the SoxFest passes, and Kamka devotes this edition of Kamka's Corner to soon-to-be Hall of Famer Jim Thome.
Listen to the latest episode below:
Playing for the team you grew up cheering for is a dream for many baseball players.
Dean Anna is getting a chance to live that dream with the White Sox.
A 31-year-old infielder born in Glenwood, Anna has played in numerous minor league systems, including those of the San Diego Padres, New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals. Tuesday, he tweeted that the White Sox will be his next team.
Anna, a Lincoln-Way East alum and Ball State University product, was a 26th-round pick of the Padres in the 2008 draft. He spent six years in the Padres' organization and has spent the past four years at the Triple-A level with four different organizations.
Most recently, he played 112 games with the Omaha Storm Chasers, a Royals affiliate, last season, where he slashed .285/.364/.376 with 53 runs scored and 33 RBIs. Anna played 64 games at second base and 26 at third base last season.
Anna has played a few big league games, too. He played 12 games with the Yankees in 2014, picking up three hits including a home run in that stint. He also played one game with the Cardinals during the 2015 season.