GLENDALE, Ariz. -- While his first goal was to make the team, Jimmy Rollins also had his eye trained on the starting shortstop job, too.
The veteran nailed down both on Wednesday.
The White Sox purchased the contract of the non-roster invitee and manager Robin Ventura named Rollins the Opening Day shortstop for Monday’s game at the Oakland A’s. Rollins, who signed a minor-league deal with the team in February, will earn $2 million this season after he was put on the 25-man roster.
The White Sox also optioned Scott Carroll to Triple-A Charlotte and outrighted Jacob Turner to Charlotte.
“To win the job is great,” Rollins said. “That’s just the beginning. Just go out there and be productive when I get my opportunities to play and when I’m getting my days off and rest, get ready for the next day.”
Rollins hit .354/.373/.604 with four home runs and 13 RBIs in 48 at-bats this spring. The plan calls for Rollins to get the bulk of playing time with Tyler Saladino as his backup. But Ventura said Rollins, 37, would get his fair share of rest. Ventura said he likes how fresh Rollins has looked with an occasional day off.
“When he’s fresh he’s got some good range,” Ventura said. “He’s been making the plays he’s had to make.
“He swung the ball well down here from both sides of the plate. But you have to be fresh to do that and that’s part of the reason of having him and Sal together.”
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Rollins is open to the idea. He has an idea how he will use the occasional off day to recuperate. Rollins could also use the time to work in the cage. He’s pleased with the adjustments he made at the plate earlier this spring after he felt lost.
“I had a week there where I didn’t know what was going on,” Rollins said. “But I was able to make the adjustments and just having the confidence in myself to make the adjustments, especially after going through a lot of adjustments last year, I was able to do that and hopefully I can continue that for the rest of the season.”
The team has 29 players left in big league camp.