A player's wife is the unsung hero in any baseball family. That's definitely the case with my wife, Elizabeth.
We've moved quite a bit the last few years. I even spent three months playing in South Korea in 2015. That meant Elizabeth had to take a 15-hour flight from Atlanta to Seoul by herself with our daughter, Evelyn, who was 6 months old at the time. Our little girl did fine, but it wasn't easy.
:: Chicago White Sox: In My Words ::
There's a lot of moving parts to a baseball family that people don't understand. You never know what the day is going to hold. You can get traded at any second. As soon as you get the call that your time is up in a certain place, it's usually up to the wife to get everything together. The player is out the door quickly so he can join his new team. The wife then has to stay behind to pack up the apartment, and figure out the next move. So much has fallen on Elizabeth. She is my unsung hero every day.
We talked for a couple days before deciding to go to Korea. It wasn't a decision I took lightly. I made the Indians out of Spring Training in 2015, but they designated me for Triple-A six weeks into the season. Then I got an offer to make some good money in Korea. We felt like it was the best thing to do for our family at the time.
Playing in Korea was interesting. The fans were passionate, and my teammates were really nice guys. The caliber of play was better than I expected, to be honest. I wasn't aware that it's really an offensive league. Guess I should have done a bit more homework on that one.
It was a good experience, but I'm glad it's over. The goal always was to get back to the big leagues.
Last year, I pitched for the Yankees. I thought I was headed in the right direction, but the results didn't match all of my hard work.
During the offseason, after having some conversations with the White Sox, we felt Chicago was the best place for me. I signed as a non-roster Major League invite to Spring Training. That meant I had to have a good camp to make the team. I didn't feel pressure as much as I realized I didn't have any wiggle room. There's always pressure in this game. Somebody evaluates you every day, essentially saying, "The next guy coming up is going to have your job." That's how the game is structured. It brings out the best in a lot of people.
So, I was just focused on getting guys out during the spring. All I wanted was a fair opportunity to make the club, and I'm grateful the Sox gave it to me.
Getting off to a good start is reassuring. It shows that I am doing the right things. But it's still early. I need to keep working on it.
I'll be 32 in September, but I feel like I still have something left in the tank. My mindset is to show the world what I can do with a baseball. It is time to leave it all out there.
You never know in this game, but we're hoping all of our bouncing around will stop this year. We want to stay here with the White Sox.
As told to Ed Sherman