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12/15/2003 11:34 AM ET
White Sox take four in Rule 5

NEW ORLEANS -- The Chicago White Sox selected pitcher Jason Grilli this morning in the major-league phase of the Rule 5 draft and pitchers Eric Stephenson, Frank Campos and Darvin Withers in the minor-league phase of the draft.

Grilli, a 27-year-old right-hander, was selected from the Florida Marlins. The 6-foot-4, 180-pounder went 10-4 with a 3.05 ERA (37 ER/109.1 IP) and 68 strikeouts in 19 combined starts last season between Class A Jupiter and Class AAA Albuquerque in the Marlins organization.

"Jason is a former first-round draft pick who has battled injuries, but we believe he is healthy and has a chance to compete for a job in our bullpen this spring," said Duane Shaffer, White Sox senior director of player personnel.

Grilli has gone 31-35 with a 4.55 ERA (269 ER/532.0 IP) and 395 strikeouts in 98 starts over six minor-leauge seasons. He also made seven appearances (six starts) with Florida in 2000-01, going 3-2 with a 5.94 ERA (22 ER/33.1 IP) and 20 strikeouts.

He originally was selected by San Francisco in the first round (fourth overall) of the 1997 draft before being traded by the Giants with pitcher Nate Bump to the Marlins in return for pitcher Livian Hernandez on July 24, 1999. Grilli is the son of former major-league pitcher Steve Grilli.

Stephenson, a 21-year-old lefty, was selected from the Toronto Blue Jays. The 6-foot-4, 180-pounder was 4-4 with a 4.38 ERA (30 ER/61.2 IP) and 47 strikeouts in 18 games (eight starts) last season at Class A Charleston (W. Va.) and is 14-23 with a 4.63 ERA (151 ER/293.2 IP) in 75 games (45 starts) over four minor-league seasons.

Campos, a 6-foot, 175-pound right-hander, was taken from the Milwaukee Brewers. He split the 2003 season between Class AAA Indianapolis and Class AAA Campeche in the Mexican League, combining to go 8-4 with a 3.41 ERA (49 ER/129.1 IP) in 20 starts. The 31-year-old has pitched the majority of his career with Campeche, going 90-66 with a 3.01 ERA (504 ER/1,505.2 IP) and 51 complete games in 224 games (213 starts).

Withers, a 23-year-old right-hander, was selected from the Oakland Athletics. The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder was 7-4 with a 5.45 ERA (72 ER/119.0 IP) and 69 strikeouts at Class AA Midland in 2003 and is 20-15 with a 4.32 ERA (193 ER/402.1 IP) and 293 strikeouts in 94 games (61 starts) over four seasons in the As minor-league system.

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