Tyler Saladino averted major scare in minors game

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GLENDALE, Ariz. — Tyler Saladino played second base and led off the first inning of the White Sox’ Cactus League finale with a home run to center against Padres right-hander Jhoulys Chacin two days after getting a scare in a minor league game. A week before Opening Day, Saladino was hit on the wrist by a pitch, always a danger zone for broken bones.

“Luckily when it hit it was like all meat,’’ Saladino said. “When I went in [for X-rays], I was like, ‘please, there is only one answer I need from you right now.’ ’’

Saladino got the (negative) X-ray read he wanted but might think twice now getting in a minor league game to “make sure you’re dialed, but the pitchers in the minor leagues – it’s their time to shine,” he said.

“He shook the catcher five times and then I saw the catcher scooting in. I could tell from the delivery he was trying to throw it as hard as he could. It was a five-foot miss.’’

Saladino figures to get a lion’s share of work at second and to move around as a backup at all infield positions. He has also played left field and is the emergency catcher.

“I’m going to use him at second base a significant amount of time,” manager Rick Renteria said Wednesday. “With all of the [flexible] guys we have … it allows us to rest, keep them fresh, maneuver them around the diamond and use the DH slot as a roving position for any number of guys on a particular day.”

Roles in the bullpen

David Robertson is the closer and Nate Jones the eighth-inning man is they were last season. On the front end, Anthony Swarzak will likely make his Sox debut in a long relief or multiple innings role.

“Absolutely,’’ pitching coach Don Cooper said. “He’s a guy who’s going to give us innings. [Jake] Petricka can give us two, two and change maybe. [Zach] Putnam two and change. We’d love to keep Robby and Jones one, and [Dan Jennings, the only left-hander] but there are always times when things happen during the year and sometimes starters are needed to go above and beyond. It’s the same with relievers.’’

The Sox will go with seven relievers to start the season: Robertson, Jones, Petricka, Putnam, Jennings, Swarzak and Michael Ynoa. Rule 5 draftee Dylan Covey, who started Wednesday, could cover some of Carlos Rodon’s innings while the lefty is on the disabled list.

Covey pitched one inning, allowing two runs including a wind-blown homer to Wil Myers. Swarzak entered to start the second.

Eye on the Burdi

When Zack Burdi struck out the side against the Royals, including a three-pitch sequence to Salvador Perez with a runner on third, it probably gave the 2016 first-round pick a boost before he heads to AAA Charlotte to open the season.

“Crazy,” Burdi said Wednesday. “I remember watching Perez in the ’14 World Series and thinking to myself how great of a catcher he was and how great of a hitter he was. Just to hear his name and to hear that he’s coming up and facing me.”

Standing on first was Nicky Lopez, “a kid I played with since I was 12. It was kind of like you had the best of both worlds there.”

Beer here

The Sox announced new marketing partnership agreements with Goose Island Beer of Chicago, Pabst Brewery of Milwaukee, Bell’s Brewery of Kalamazoo and Founders Brewing Co. of Grand Rapids, Mich.

Through a partnership with Lakeshore Beverage each brewery will be featured in an in-game promotion called “Beer of the Homestand” throughout the season.


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