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Versatile Saladino preparing to be emergency catcher

MLB.com @scottmerkin

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Infielder Tyler Saladino was considered the emergency White Sox catcher during the 2016 season. And if he's going to play that same role in 2017, he's trying to be a bit more proactive in his preparation.

Saladino, who is expected to be one of several players to play second base, caught a 20-pitch side session from Spencer Adams before Thursday's 4-2 win over the D-backs. According to White Sox manager Rick Renteria, Saladino likes to be able to contribute in "any way, shape or form."

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Infielder Tyler Saladino was considered the emergency White Sox catcher during the 2016 season. And if he's going to play that same role in 2017, he's trying to be a bit more proactive in his preparation.

Saladino, who is expected to be one of several players to play second base, caught a 20-pitch side session from Spencer Adams before Thursday's 4-2 win over the D-backs. According to White Sox manager Rick Renteria, Saladino likes to be able to contribute in "any way, shape or form."

"It's something that he's brought up. We've talked about it. It's a valuable piece to have, if he's able to do that," Renteria said. "Obviously those are situations in which if he comes in when something happens, he can help us get through a ballgame later on.

"I remember having experienced it, doing the same thing. For him to be able to do that would be an asset. Obviously, you don't want to take away from all of the other things he's capable of doing. If he can get comfortable in being able to do that, get us through an inning or two if need be, that would be great for us, to give us a little flexibility."

Video: CWS@ARI: Saladino ties the game with solo homer

Saladino, 27, has played every position during the regular season for the White Sox, except pitcher and catcher.

Opening Day hope for Tilson

Although White Sox outfielder Charlie Tilson hasn't played in a Cactus League game due to a stress reaction in his right foot, Renteria still holds out hope Tilson can compete for the Opening Day center-field job.

"It's honestly just getting him back on the field and healthy," Renteria said. "Once we start to see him play, we'll start to make our determination as to whether there are enough at-bats involved in getting ready for the season.

"We definitely do not count him out. It's more for us, making sure he's able to go out there and not put himself in a position where he hurts himself. And then, again, we have a little bit of time to kind of establish that, evaluate and see where we're going from there. Hopefully, we can get him out there at some point in time before we break camp, obviously, and then we'll make certain decisions."

Tilson expected some type of setback in working his way back from season-ending surgery to fix a torn left hamstring, suffered during his lone game played for the White Sox last season. Renteria talked about increasing the intensity of running for Tilson, who also has been swinging a bat recently.

Video: Tilson discusses improvement from hamstring injury

"Again, it's day to day," Renteria said. "We'll see where he goes after the workouts and the increase in intensity, and then we'll make the adjustments we need."

Goldberg heading to Tokyo

Reliever Brad Goldberg will join Team Israel in Tokyo for the second round of the World Baseball Classic, after Goldberg picked up two saves to help Israel advance out of the Brooklyn Qualifier in September.

"We wish him well," Renteria said. "We hope he's able to take advantage of the opportunity and the experience. It should be something good for him."

Goldberg, who Renteria describes as having an explosive arm, has four scoreless Cactus League outings. White Sox Minor League pitcher Alex Katz has two scoreless appearances in the Classic for Israel, which went 3-0 during Pool A play in Seoul.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Chicago White Sox, Brad Goldberg, Tyler Saladino, Charlie Tilson