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Beck emerging as relief weapon for Sox

MLB.com @scottmerkin

DETROIT -- Much of the attention directed at the 2017 White Sox bullpen has focused upon the great starts from closer David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle and Anthony Swarzak.

The name of Chris Beck should not get lost in that mix.

View Full Game Coverage

DETROIT -- Much of the attention directed at the 2017 White Sox bullpen has focused upon the great starts from closer David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle and Anthony Swarzak.

The name of Chris Beck should not get lost in that mix.

View Full Game Coverage

Beck entered Friday's series opener in Detroit having retired 23 of the last 26 batters he has faced as a regular piece of Rick Renteria's relief crew. Attacking the strike zone stands as a simple reason as to why the 26-year-old has emerged.

"Just really dumbing it down, strike one," Beck said. "It's a game we play, a game of inches. So strike one gets you in better counts. Avoiding the walk column as best as possible. Staying aggressive.

"Getting out there and getting the ball in your hand is the biggest difference. You kind of get a familiarity with how the game is going to be played and the situations you are put in."

Beck added a split-finger to his arsenal in 2016, and he's using it effectively again this season. Beck also has "bared down" more on his slider, trying to regain or rediscover the arm slot he had with the pitch at Georgia Southern.

"It's been a battle to get it back," said Beck, who has a 2.84 ERA in 14 games, with 18 strikeouts and five walks in 19 innings. "It comes and goes.

"[Pitching coach Donn Cooper] says another pitch is another weapon. Put that in the arsenal and it's one more thing a hitter thinks about."

Rodon making progress

Carlos Rodon, who has been on the disabled list with biceps bursitis in his left shoulder since the start of the season, threw another successful simulated game yesterday in Arizona.

"We're getting ready to have him move forward in his next phase," Renteria said. "The next phase could be going out to start competing in some games on a rehab, but that's still to be determined as to when and how and where."

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, Chris Beck