Cofield Feeling Fresh For White Sox





GLENDALE, ARIZ.—When Kyle Cofield made his White Sox debut in a March 2 exhibition game against the Reds, there was a mixture of relief as well as excitement.

Cofield, 24, was acquired from the Braves for veteran reliever Scott Linebrink and about $3 million. Sidelined for parts of three of the past four seasons because of right arm tendinitis, he felt delighted just to be pitching.

"Being healthy is 100 percent the most valuable thing to me right now," said Cofield, an eight-round pick of the Braves in 2005. "I feel blessed I'm in the situation I'm in now. I really didn't expect to be (in major league spring training), especially being traded after I was injured last year.

"Everything seems to be coming together. My arm feels great. My legs feel great. I got everything up under me."

Two years ago, Cofield was Double-A Mississippi's pitcher of the year after posting a 10-5, 3.90 record in 26 games. But last year, he missed nearly two months because of a right forearm strain. A stint in the Arizona Fall League ended after only one inning.

"I felt some stuff in my body that didn't feel right, and I had to shut it down," said Cofield, who learned that the tendinitis in his left knee hadn't subsided.

Cofield caught the eye of Chicago farm director Buddy Bell during a Southern League game against Double-A Birmingham. Bell said Dan Fabian, the White Sox's director of baseball operations, thought that Cofield might be available, especially since the Braves had so many high-end prospects.

"I'm here to pitch," Cofield said. "It doesn't (matter) what my role is. The Braves coaches were helpful and put me through a lot of programs and changed my mechanics. I had a little trouble walking guys, but I was coming out of my shell before I got injured last year. It's just a luck of the draw."

CHI-LITES

• Lefthander Charlie Leesman, who won 14 games at high Class A Winston-Salem and Birmingham last season, received a long look during bullpen sessions this spring while pitching next to Jake Peavy.

• Jacob Petricka, a second-round pick in 2010, participated in the club's minor league mini-camp at Camelback Ranch. Petricka could advance quickly through the system because of a lack of starting pitching depth caused by recent trades.