“Honestly I’m hoping that by taking the same swing that I did last year, because I’m stronger, I’m hoping that translates into more power,” Gillaspie said, per the website. “It may or may not. We have enough guys that do hit for power on this team now. There are quite a few of them, so truthfully, I think I might be just as valuable getting on base, drawing walks, moving runners.”
Gillaspie hit .282 with seven homers and 57 RBI in 130 games last year.
"I really don't think there's much of a question going in there," Flowers said. "I would definitely say it's my job to lose. Barring an injury, there's really no doubt I'll be the guy catching opening day."
Flowers avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal, worth $2.675 million for this season. The 28-year-old hit .241/.297/.396 with 15 homers and 50 RBI over 407 at-bats in 2014.
"At this point, there's no reason to move off of that," general manager Rick Hahn said. "Competition is good. It brings out the best in people. And if someone comes in and fights for that job and earns it, I'm sure we'll be flexible. But certainly, we view Tyler as the starter."
Although general manager Rick Hahn said Rodon will go through his first professional spring training as a starter, pitching coach Don Cooper indicated that the team could use a similar bullpen-to-rotation blueprint to groom Rodon down the road, which Chicago used for previous pitchers like Chris Sale and Mark Buehrle.
"We didn't draft this guy third in the nation to be a reliever," Cooper said. "At some point he's going to be a starter. We haven't discussed when is that point. Right now he's going to come to spring training, show us what he can do and he's going to give us all the information we need.
"Chris Sale, Mark Buehrle, they started their careers in relief. Buehrle's one of the top pitchers over the last 15 years in White Sox history and Sale is quickly rising up those ranks."
After being drafted No. 3 overall in June, the left-hander worked his way from the Arizona League to Triple-A Charlotte in limited minor league action. He told the Chicago Tribune he's ready for whatever comes his way.
"I'm just focusing on getting better," Rodon said. "They tell me what to do, I show up and I pitch. That's how I look at it."
"All of a sudden, just like that, you're back in the same situation you were in, on a different team but back home," Samardzija said. "So, it's still taken me a second to really soak it in and pinch myself and realize whether it's real. I'm just excited to get out there and pitch and wear the uniform in Spring Training, get to know these teammates and build relationships that last a lifetime."
Samardzija was traded to Chicago from Oakland during the offseason and has one year remaining on his contract, but he's not concerned about it at this point.
"I haven't discussed it at all. It's only been brought up to me," said Samardzija, who will earn $9.8 million in '15. "Until something happens that's worth the discussion, we'll talk about it then. But until then we're worried about prepping for the start of the season, and being prepared to do our part on this team."
He went 7-13 in 2014 with a 2.99 ERA and 202 strikeouts in 219 2/3 innings.
"I'm excited about the depth we have right now," Abreu said. "That is something good and will put us in the position to compete and I'm very excited about that.
"I've been working the same way on my defense. It doesn't matter if I'm playing more or less games because that is part of my game. I have to be a complete player and I can't work less and still be that. I have the same mentality, it doesn't matter who will be on the team. I just prepare myself to be successful and 100 percent on the field."
Abreu hit .317 in 2014 with 36 home runs and 107 RBI. He was also unanimously voted the AL Rookie of the Year.
|2014 Team Leaders|
|AVG||Jose Abreu , 1B||.317|
|RBI||Jose Abreu , 1B||107|
|OBP||Jose Abreu , 1B||.383|
|R||Alexei Ramirez , SS||82|
|SB||Alexei Ramirez , SS||21|
|W||Chris Sale , SP||12|
|K||Chris Sale , SP||208|
|SV||Jake Petricka , RP||14|
|Full Team Statistics|
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