By Bruce Levine–
GLENDALE, Ariz. (CBS) — Several weeks into Cactus League play, White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier made his spring debut Wednesday.
Serving as the team’s designated hitter against the Brewers, Frazier hit lined out to left field in his first at-bat. Frazier had been dealing with an oblique strain since early February that delayed his work this spring.
“Give credit to our training staff for getting me back out on the field,” Frazier said. “They made me hold back. I was telling them I was ready, and they said, ‘No, you are not.'”
With about three-and-a-half weeks left in Arizona, Frazier still doesn’t feel a rush. A silver lining of being delayed by the oblique strain was that it also gave him more time to recover from a ring finger injury he sustained in the offseason.
“It was a blessing in disguise,” he said of the extra time to heal. “My hand is fine now.”
Frazier already has a goal in mind for this year after hitting a career-low .225 in 2016.
“I would like to go back and hit the ball to right filed more often,” Frazier said. “I kind of went away from that. That is one of my goals.”
The 31-year-old Frazier is set to be a free agent after the 2017 season, and there haven’t been any conversations with the team about an extension as the White Sox as they’ve embarked on a rebuild. Coming off a 40-homer, 98-RBI season, Frazier is also a prime candidate to be traded, especially if another team has a power bat get injured.
Frazier had a star-crossed 2016, with those big power numbers and good defense at third base but the .225 batting average and career-high 163 strikeouts on the other side of the ledger.
For now, Frazier is focused on the present, which doesn’t include using the word “rebuild.”
“I don’t call this a rebuild,” Frazier said. “I call it a refueling. We have a lot of really good players in here and top young guys knocking at the door.
“This is a really good group that we have here.”
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.