Saladino called up, plugged in at third base
White Sox No. 15 prospect played mostly shortstop for Triple-A Charlotte
CHICAGO -- Tyler Saladino knew he would make his Major League debut when he got the call on Thursday morning. But he didn't know he would be starting at third base until he walked in the door to the visitors' clubhouse on Friday at Wrigley Field three hours before the first pitch.
The White Sox recalled Saladino, the team's No. 15 prospect, from Triple-A Charlotte for the start of their series against the Cubs, and they optioned right-handed reliever Scott Carroll to make room on the roster. Saladino was a seventh-round pick in 2010, and he had played in Charlotte since 2014.
Saladino walked into the clubhouse smiling after he scrambled to arrive in Chicago. He spent the first half of his morning shaking hands and reintroducing himself.
"It's a blessing, for sure," Saladino said. "Obviously it's a dream I've been chasing my whole life, and it means a lot and I just want to make the most of it. I'm ready to go.
"I haven't seen anything as big as this, but it's still kind of surreal. At the same time, game starts in a few hours, so I'm getting ready for that."
The 25-year old Saladino hit .255 with four home runs and 29 RBIs in 52 games with Charlotte this season, but he provides a bigger threat with his defense and speed. He ranked third in the International League with 25 steals entering Friday.
The start at third base is Saladino's third of the year after he spent the majority of his time in the Minors at shortstop.
"You're infusing a guy in there who you know who can play over there," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura. "Offensively, you see what happens. Knowing him the last few years, what he's done in the Minor Leagues, even in Spring Training with us, you are comfortable putting him over there that he can play and see what it does to our offense.
"Tyler in the past has played all over. He's played some outfield, first base. He's done pretty much everything. So I'm comfortable having him over there."
Saladino is getting tossed into everything for the start of a rivalry Interleague series against the Cubs. He had little time to learn about the history of the series, let alone much about who was pitching.
Saladino was caught off guard when he realized who he'd be playing against, since Charlotte had been on the road in the last week.
"You have it during Spring Training, and it's a big deal even in Arizona," Saladino said. "Seeing that this is what we have right now, it's pretty exciting."
• Chicago made another move on Friday, sending right-handed reliever Nate Jones to Class A Advanced Winston-Salem on a rehab assignment. Jones has not pitched since 2014 after he had Tommy John surgery on his throwing arm.