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White Sox, fans enjoy light mood at SoxFest

Looming rebuild doesn't take away from excitement of 2018 season
MLB.com @scottmerkin

CHICAGO -- White Sox fans have grown to know Carlos Rodon, the talented pitcher with top-of-the-rotation capabilities.

In a panel focused on getting to the Majors and featuring Adam Engel, Kevan Smith, Lucas Giolito, Nicky Delmonico and Carson Fulmer with Rodon, the left-handed hurler showed off his slightly devious side by prompting the crowd to cheer for everyone but Delmonico as he introduced each player when they walked into the room.

CHICAGO -- White Sox fans have grown to know Carlos Rodon, the talented pitcher with top-of-the-rotation capabilities.

In a panel focused on getting to the Majors and featuring Adam Engel, Kevan Smith, Lucas Giolito, Nicky Delmonico and Carson Fulmer with Rodon, the left-handed hurler showed off his slightly devious side by prompting the crowd to cheer for everyone but Delmonico as he introduced each player when they walked into the room.

It's that sort of fun prevailing across SoxFest, while a young group of players continues growing together.

"Once you develop a family unit, you fight for each other," said White Sox manager Rick Renteria during a packed Town Hall Meeting to start Saturday. "You might fight with each other, but you fight for each other."

Video: Renteria excited about future of the White Sox

"It's been awesome," said White Sox third-base prospect Jake Burger, the team's top pick in the 2017 Draft. "Just getting to know Nicky and Yolmer [Sanchez] and all these guys who take you under their wing and explain to you what it takes to get there. It's a very energetic group and it's fun."

Sanchez teamed with Tim Anderson, Matt Davidson and White Sox television play-by-play announcer Jason Benetti as part of Saturday's kids-only news conference, which didn't disappoint in terms of entertainment value. One young fan pointed out how Carlos Sanchez became Yolmer Sanchez going into the '17 campaign and in turn had a great season, and then asked if Anderson and/or Davidson would think about changing to their name to Yolmer for similar results.

After raucous laughter, Sanchez explained how Yolmer is his real first name and simply returned to it. The versatile Sanchez was asked for his favorite spot to play on the field, to which he answered anywhere but catcher.

Video: Sights and Sounds: SoxFest 2018

When Anderson was questioned about moving to second if Sanchez had loved shortstop, the incumbent Anderson became playfully proprietary about his starting spot. The three players fed off each other during these 45 humorous minutes, which featured Sanchez singing Bruno Mars and doing the whip and the nae nae.

One attendee asked general manager Rick Hahn a questions while wearing a "In Hahn We Trust" shirt. He found the T-shirt online, to which Hahn quipped, "I'm surprised you didn't find it on the street."

That shirt might be replaced with a Hahn statue if the enthusiasm shown this weekend crescendos into a title some day.

White Sox add Cedeno
The White Sox signed left-hander Xavier Cedeno to a Minor League deal with an invitation to Spring Training. The 31-year-old southpaw worked three innings last season for the Rays due to a forearm injury and was non-tendered in December, but he appeared in 115 games over 2015-16 with a 2.88 combined ERA.

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