Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 3/20/14
Adrian Nieto knows what it's like to nearly have his career taken away, and he has acted accordingly. The catcher, a Rule 5 pick from the Washington Nationals, has brought enthusiasm and according to coaches, and an “old school” approach to camp with him, and the White Sox have taken notice. After Josh Phegley was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte on Wednesday morning, it is quite possible that Nieto, one of three catchers left in camp, could make the White Sox opening day roster. Given he was suspended for the first 50 games of the 2011 minor-league season for use of performance-enhancing drugs, Nieto, 24, realizes the magnitude of this opportunity and has relished it. With a week left in camp and Phegley out of the way, the backup catching job is between Nieto and veteran Hector Gimenez, who made the 2013 opening day roster. “It’s crazy,” Nieto said. “I thought about it (this week) how far I’ve come not only as a player but a person and growing up. Like I told everybody — that was a wakeup call for me. It made me look myself in the mirror and see what I really wanted to do.” The White Sox looked hard at their catching situation after 2013 and determined an upgrade was necessary after last year’s group combined for a .560 OPS, which ranked 29th in the majors.
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