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White Sox ready for 'new start' after time off

Special to MLB.com

OAKLAND -- One would think that after three days of burying the White Sox in snow, Mother Nature would finally give the South Siders a break. But after their Sunday escape from the blizzard in Minnesota, of course the White Sox would wake up to a hailstorm in Oakland on Monday morning.

Fortunately, the weather cleared up in time for a clear -- albeit rather chilly -- series opener against the A's on Monday night, and designated hitter Matt Davidson managed to keep a good sense of humor about it.

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OAKLAND -- One would think that after three days of burying the White Sox in snow, Mother Nature would finally give the South Siders a break. But after their Sunday escape from the blizzard in Minnesota, of course the White Sox would wake up to a hailstorm in Oakland on Monday morning.

Fortunately, the weather cleared up in time for a clear -- albeit rather chilly -- series opener against the A's on Monday night, and designated hitter Matt Davidson managed to keep a good sense of humor about it.

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"We're probably bringing the weather with us with our plane wherever we go," Davidson joked. "It just seems like that. Toronto was nice, obviously, because it was in a dome but even there, it was freezing outside. And now we bring it here. I don't know what it is, but we're ready for it to warm up."

The Sox don't feel that the extended time off will affect their on-field performance, as they maintained their routine of side sessions, conditioning and hitting through the break. And, as Davidson pointed out, a three-day break isn't unheard of in baseball (take the All-Star Break, for instance).

The clubhouse consensus was just an acceptance of an unfortunate situation that was out of everybody's hands. There was also some hope that the time off would allow the lineup to hit the "reset" button after going 3-for-47 (.064) with runners in scoring position in Chicago's last six games.

"It feels like we've been gone for so long, so definitely, I feel like it's almost a new start," Davidson said. "I think it'll be good for us."

Smith to start rehab assignment

After a successful recovery period in extended spring camp, catcher Kevan Smith will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte as he continues to work his way back from a sprained left ankle that sent him to the 10-day disabled list March 28.

There is not yet a concrete timeline for Smith's rehab assignment, and with Welington Castillo and Omar Narvaez already on the Major League roster, manager Rick Renteria does not expect Smith to join the White Sox following his recovery.

"Right now, he's finishing up getting fully acclimated to playing again," Renteria said. "He was feeling good, so right now, it's just getting him healthy and letting him go out and play and seeing how things continue to evolve here."

Castillo was in the White Sox lineup Monday for the first time since April 10, when he departed in the sixth inning of a 6-5 loss to the Rays with right knee soreness.

Do-Hyoung Park is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area.

Chicago White Sox, Kevan Smith