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Ian Clarkin Aims For A Healthy Season With White Sox



White Sox general manager Rick Hahn has done quite well trading veteran players for prospects.

In less than a year, Hahn acquired Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech from the Red Sox for Chris Sale. He acquired Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning from the Nationals for Adam Eaton. He acquired Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease from the Cubs for Jose Quintana, and he acquired 2016 first-rounder Blake Rutherford from the Yankees for Todd Frazier, David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle.

Ian Clarkin also came over from New York in that multiplayer deal, and Chicago is intrigued by the 22-year-old lefthander.

"He has command of three pitches, knows how to locate and is an interesting guy with some upside (who) I look forward to having in the organization working with our coaches," Hahn said. "He's had some injury troubles along the way, but hopefully those are behind him."

Clarkin, the Yankees' first-round pick (No. 33 overall) in the 2013 draft out of Madison High in San Diego, has talent. But a lengthy history of injuries didn't deter the White Sox from adding him to the 40-man roster, thus shielding him from the Rule 5 draft.

Clarkin missed the 2015 season with an elbow injury, and a torn meniscus cut his 2016 season short. After joining Chicago, Clarkin pitched in one game for high Class A Winston-Salem before missing more than a month with a strained right oblique.

"I try to not look back as much as possible," Clarkin said. "I just keep all eyes forward. I feel like I have a huge chip on my shoulder and never take playing for granted. Not playing is one of the hardest things to do. You get something you love so much taken away from you, it's not fun."

Clarkin was healthy enough to return to Winston-Salem and pitch six innings over two starts to end the season, and he still felt good at instructional league.

"It's finally good to stay healthy, so I can see what I've got," he said.

In addition to the challenges of staying healthy, Clarkin had to deal with being traded after spending his first five years with the Yankees.

"At first I was just really nervous going to somewhere I've never been before and leaving somewhere where I was really, really comfortable," he said. "There were a lot of emotions. You are sad to leave the guys, but at the same time, I was overpowered with excitement."

CHI-LITES

• The White Sox acquired hard-throwing reliever Thyago Vieira from the Mariners in a trade for international bonus pool money. Vieria made one appearance for Seattle last season.

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Jorge Mateo is still one of the toolsiest players and best prospects in the game,

• Hahn said that 20-year-old Cuban outfielder Luis Robert is expected to open 2018 at either low Class A Kannapolis or Winston-Salem.

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