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Friday, February 22, 2013
Playing time wide open for young OFs

By Doug Padilla

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- If there is something the Chicago White Sox don't have a shortage of it is up-and-coming outfielders looking to get noticed.

Turns out there will be plenty of chances for those young players to show what they are capable of doing.

Not only is Alex Rios leaving soon to play for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic, but now Alejandro De Aza is taking off soon to join the Dominican Republic team in the WBC. If that isn't enough opportunity, manager Robin Ventura said Friday that Jordan Danks will be sidelined for a little while with discomfort in his left elbow.

That means guys like Trayce Thompson, Jared Mitchell and Keenyn Walker will get more playing time than expected, not to mention guys like Stefan Gartrell and Blake Tekotte.

"It's one of those that when something like that happens, it gives guys a little opportunity to step up and play and you never know what's going to happen," manager Robin Ventura said. "Some younger guys have a little more playing time for a while."

It is shades of 2003 when the door was opened for Brian Anderson and Ryan Sweeney to get some time with the big team after just being drafted.

As for Danks, the White Sox went as far as to give him an MRI on his elbow, but it was characterized as only precautionary. The MRI showed inflammation and he will get a few days of rest before throwing again.

De Aza said he found out three weeks ago he was going to play for the Dominican Republic team, but didn't get the details on when and where to report until this week.

"It was the greatest feeling," De Aza said about the chance to play for his country. "I'm just going to try to do the little things (in camp) to get me ready and go play."