Keppinger expects leg will be fine

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Keppinger expects leg will be fine

Jeff Keppinger is in good shape now but admits earlier this offseason he was worried when an X-ray revealed a broken right fibula rather than a sprained ankle.

The White Sox newest addition said Monday he expects to be ready for spring training when the team reports to Glendale, Ariz. in just over two months. The walking boot worn by Keppinger -- who signed a three-year, 12-million deal with the White Sox on Monday -- comes off Tuesday and he will start his rehab shortly thereafter.

It especially wasnt a fun time, Keppinger said. I thought I rolled my ankle and sprained it. I was wearing flip flops coming down the stairs and just slipped and thought I could catch myself and just didnt land right. I come out of (the walking boot) tomorrow and get on my way with walking and get better so I should be all good shortly. It was pretty nerve wracking.

The competition for Keppinger was heavy this offseason.

The New York Yankees were one of many teams in pursuit of Keppinger, a .288 career hitter, who, along with Dustin Pedroia and Albert Pujols, is one of three hitters with more walks and extra-base hits than strikeouts since 2007. Keppinger is tailor-made for the White Sox as general manager Rick Hahn wants his offense to be less reliant upon the long ball next season. He wants his team to be able to score even when it doesnt hit home runs. Hahn said the White Sox were high on Keppinger from the start of the offseason but the broken leg cooled the chase, at least temporarily.

It actually probably slowed things down a beat so that us and the others clubs involved could get the medical records and post-op report and the follow-up report, Hahn said. It may have slowed things down by a week or two, but there certainly was a great amount of interest in him and we were there from there the start. Once we were comfortable with the prognosis on the fracture we were right there back in it and we were able to close something off down in Nashville last week despite the fact that there was a fair amount of competition.

Keppinger heads into spring as the White Sox third baseman, though he said the club hasnt informed him of where he will play or hit. With no more than 36 strikeouts in any of his eight seasons, Keppinger appears to be a strong candidate for the second spot in the White Sox lineup. Hahn received a good report on Keppinger from assistant GM Buddy Bell, who briefly managed him in Kansas City in 2006 and likes Keppingers makeup.

Jeff adds a valuable and different type of offensive player to our lineup, Hahn said.

Keppinger likes the idea of hitting second because of the different aspects to the offensive approach. Hes a career .288 hitter.

Sometimes you have to take pitches to allow the leadoff batter to steal, Keppinger said. Other times you have to just kind of give yourself up for the team and move guys over for the three hitter. I kind of like the challenges the two hole brings. Its kind of tough sometimes to do all those little things, but I pride myself in being able to get them done.

His first task, however, is to get his right leg back up to speed. Keppinger doesnt anticipate any problems.

That was what I told by the doctors, Keppinger said. Im about to be out of the boot and healed up and basically its just strengthening the leg back up. I should be good to go come spring. That certainly all matters based on how rehab goes but I dont imagine there being any tough parts of rehab that are a struggle for me. I just need to strengthen it back up and get the flexibility back in my foot.

Preview: Charlotte Knights battle Buffalo Bisons Saturday on CSN+

Preview: Charlotte Knights battle Buffalo Bisons Saturday on CSN+

CSN's coverage of the Charlotte Knights continues on Saturday night as the Knights will host the Buffalo Bisons at 6 p.m. on CSN+.

Reynaldo Lopez, MLB's No. 45 overall prospect, makes his 10th start of the season for the Knights. The 23-year-old Lopez has a 5-1 record with a 2.94 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 49 innings in 2017.

[WHITE SOX TICKETS: Get your seats right here]

White Sox No. 1 prospect Yoan Moncada, who landed on the 7-day DL on May 18, is eligible to make his return to the Knights lineup this weekend.

It's the fourth of eight games that CSN will televise over the next two months to give fans an opportunity to watch the future of the White Sox.

Check out the rest of the television schedule here.

White Sox trade veteran utilityman Ryan Raburn to Nationals 

White Sox trade veteran utilityman Ryan Raburn to Nationals 

Before the White Sox postponed Game 1 of Friday's doubleheader, the organization traded veteran utilityman Ryan Raburn to the Washington Nationals.

Raburn. 36, signed with the White Sox as a free agent in the second week of April. 

The White Sox will receive either cash or a player to be named.

Raburn has not played in the majors this season, appearing in 27 games with Triple-A Charlotte and hitting .277 with a .419 on-base percentage and .853 OPS.

He's an 11-year MLB veteran with 91 career homers and a .753 OPS throughout stops such as the Detroit Tigers (2004-12), Cleveland Indians (2013-15) and Colorado Rockies (2016).

The right-handed hitting Raburn has been a platoon player for much of his career, compiling an .827 OPS against left-handed pitching compared to a .685 OPS against righties.

Raburn has appeared in at least 19 games at seven different positions on the field (first base, second base, third base, all three outfield spots and DH) and has even pitched twice.