5/9/2014 8:56 P.M. ET
Pain-free Jones happy to finally be on mend
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- Nate Jones has a very simple first goal a few days removed from a Monday microdiscectomy at Rush University Medical Center to relieve pain in his lower back.
"Our first target is becoming a normal person, twisting and bending, stuff like that," said Jones in his first clubhouse appearance since the out-patient procedure. "We are shooting for the earliest which is four weeks, since they didn't have to take any bone or anything like that out. I was very thankful of that. We are going to shoot for four weeks."
After that four-week period, Jones will have to go through a modified Spring Training program to build up his arm strength.
"I would assume so because I lost quite a bit, almost a whole month, of us trying to figure out what was going on," Jones said. "I would assume it will be a kind of Spring Training thing."
Jones went from glute pain during Spring Training to hip and back pain in-season. But he fully expects to pitch again during the 2014 season.
"I'm not frustrated at all," Jones said. "I was relaying information to them and they were using that information trying to diagnose what it was. So we knocked everything out one by one by one and finally figured out what it was with my back. After surgery, I'm not feeling any pain in my hip. It's a great relief."
Abreu starts at DH with ankle soreness
CHICAGO -- Jose Abreu moved from first base to designated hitter for the series opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks due to a sore left ankle.
Although Abreu looked to be running at less than 100 percent during Thursday's 12-5 loss to the Cubs, he played down the issue before Friday's contest at U.S. Cellular Field.
"It's not in an injury. It's bothering me a little bit," said Abreu through interpreter and White Sox manager of cultural development Lino Diaz. "We don't know exactly where it's coming from. It might be from playing, but it's nothing alarming."
"He's just sore," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura. "He hits a lot of balls off his ankles. He hasn't felt comfortable enough to wear that brace. But I think tonight just to keep him off first base. Hopefully it settles down and he's all right."
Ventura described the issue as general soreness behind the ankle, but no structural damage. It's in the same ankle that bothered Abreu during Spring Training but in a different spot, and there's no fear that Abreu can do any sort of increased damage by being out on the field running the bases.
"You see him limping around. He says he's fine," Ventura said. "But it's hard to watch him limping around. You think it might be getting worse. So tonight we can DH him."
"I'll play every day," said Abreu, who has made 34 starts at first base and two including Friday at DH. "It's not that bad."
White Sox seeking results from prospect Mitchell
CHICAGO -- The road has not been an easy one traveled for Jared Mitchell since the White Sox selected him in the first round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft. The outfielder, who split time between football and baseball at LSU, missed a crucial development year in 2010 after tearing a tendon in his left ankle during Spring Training.
Mitchell has struggled to find success with the bat since, hitting .157 with 41 strikeouts over 70 at-bats for Triple-A Charlotte this season, following a .167 showing last season. White Sox director of player development Nick Capra believes Mitchell, in his sixth season with the organization, might need to get out of his own way to succeed.
"We all know he's a very, very talented athletic kid," Capra said. "Sometimes he wants to do things his way. Sometimes his way is not always the best way to do things.
"Hopefully he softens up a little bit and starts taking instruction a little bit better. Once he does that, he'll reap the benefits."
Mitchell and the White Sox understand the time is now for him to show improvement at the plate.
"I think so. I think he thinks so," Capra said. "That's going to help once he knows things will change a little bit. Maybe things will click."
Reed returns to Chicago with no hard feelings
CHICAGO -- With 10 saves in 11 opportunities for the Diamondbacks, Addison Reed made his return to Chicago for this weekend's series at U.S. Cellular Field. Reed was selected by the White Sox in the third round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft and saved 69 games over the 2012 and 2013 seasons before being traded to Arizona for third baseman Matt Davidson on Dec. 16, 2013.
The always-upbeat Reed, 25, admitted to being shocked when first hearing of the trade. He also understood that the team had other options at closer and wanted to add the offensive potential of Davidson, a player whom Reed works out with in the offseason.
"With the way that the year went last year, it seems like everybody that started the year with that team wasn't on it at the end of the year," said a smiling Reed, speaking Friday in the visitors' clubhouse. "It was a whole new clubhouse, but that's what happens when things go bad. You've got to make some changes and I don't remember how many people were traded.
"I remember at the deadline coming into the clubhouse and every day it seemed like there was somebody new in the clubhouse. Everybody kind of understands that it's part of the game. Nowadays people know that nobody is going to stay with the same club they got drafted by.
"Getting traded, it was weird," Reed said. "You get drafted by a team and come up in the organization and I was like 'I'm going to be a White Sox for my whole career.' I kind of wanted to brace myself for [a trade] because I was so close with everybody there. I knew that there was a possibility I might be getting traded."
Reed hopes the trade to Arizona was his last, but he understands the business of baseball might dictate another move or two. Once Reed came to terms that he probably wasn't going to stay with the same team his whole career, the trade was easier to handle.
"Once it happened it happened and I came to Spring Training and that was the end of it," Reed said. "I met all of the new guys and was ready to roll. I didn't take it personal, didn't think that it was my fault.
"They needed a guy who could play third base and Davidson, he's a heck of a player. He's really good. I didn't think it was my fault. It was just a trade and I'm glad to be here now."
Third to first
• Ventura will miss Saturday night's game to attend the graduation of his daughter, Rachel, from Oklahoma State University. Ventura is scheduled to return for Sunday's series finale. Bench coach Mark Parent will serve as interim manager.
• Veteran right-handed relievers Javy Guerra and Frank Francisco continue to look like viable big league options for the White Sox with their success at Triple-A Charlotte. Guerra has a 1.72 ERA in 11 games and 15 2/3 innings this season, while Francisco has allowed one unearned run with 12 strikeouts over eight innings and six games.
• This week the White Sox have dealt with first-pitch temperatures ranging from 41 (Monday) to 83 (Thursday).
"It's really strange, but no complaints," White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers said. "I like it warm and I like it cool. I don't know if I necessarily like it cold."
With the weather looking as if it's consistently warming up, U.S. Cellular Field will become a more hitter-friendly ballpark.
"Even for Jose, that's part of what is impressive about him is that he has done most of this in really cold weather, playing here for most of it," Ventura said. "But to be able to do what he's done in the cold weather, when it warms up you just feel better as a hitter, that's just something to look forward to."
• The White Sox have partnered with the Chicagoland affiliate of Susan G. Komen to support breast cancer awareness and education with the White Sox Pink Out game on Saturday. Fans are invited to show their support and help increase awareness about breast health and screening by wearing pink to the game.