KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Mike Olt chose to stay ready in case the phone rang rather than focus on his uncertain future.
Instead of coming in cold, the newest member of the White Sox said Sunday he has a sense of feeling prepared despite a week-long layoff between games. Olt -- who was designated for assignment by the Cubs on Monday and claimed by the White Sox on Saturday -- opted to stay with Triple-A Iowa and work out in the interim. His decision would seem to have paid quick dividends as White Sox manager Robin Ventura didn’t hesitate to start Olt in Sunday’s series finale against the Kansas City Royals.
“I never really thought about (my future),” Olt said. “I didn’t want to think about it. I just wanted to stay focused on staying ready and being prepared so when I did get a chance, if it happened, I wanted to be ready to at least take advantage of it.”
Olt -- who had a .265/.333/.460 slash line with nine homers and 25 RBIs in 59 games at Iowa -- last appeared in a game on Aug. 29 two days before he was DFA’d. But instead of heading home for the offseason, Olt asked if he could remain with the team, which had just opened a five-game series at Oklahoma City. He was granted permission and worked out as much as he could, staying with the team as it traveled to Round Rock, Texas on Friday. Olt said he received news of the White Sox claim on Saturday and made the quick flight to Kansas City.
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“He says he’s ready to go, so we’re going to find out and put him out there,” Ventura said. “It brings an extra dimension to our lineup. Lately, we’ve been hitting some homers. I don’t know if they knew he was coming, but we’ll see if he can add to it.
“Everybody is a little different. It’s something with his work ethic and everything else he’s got going. That’s a good sign. It paid off for him because he kept working out and he’s ready to go.”
The White Sox are still in search of a long-term answer at third base and Olt -- who has 83 homers in the minors -- will get a look. He’s appreciative for the opportunity and ready to get going.
“I’ve had kind of a crazy career and the one thing about it, everything happens for a reason,” Olt said. “I’m excited to get another opportunity here and try to take advantage of it and just excited to get going.”