LaRoche improving after sustaining back spasms

Newly acquired Jackson nearing Cactus League action; Olt understands business

LaRoche improving after sustaining back spasms

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Adam LaRoche, who suffered back spasms Saturday that caused him to leave a game in Surprise, Ariz., against the Royals, is getting a little bit better, according to manager Robin Ventura.

"[White Sox athletic trainer] Herm [Schneider] had him moving around, doing stuff," said Ventura after Chicago's 12-3 loss to Oakland on Wednesday. "But he's not ready to get on the field and do anything yet. I still don't see it for a couple of more days at least."

Spring Training: Schedule | Tickets | More info

With three weeks remaining in Spring Training, Ventura isn't worried about LaRoche's extended absence setting him back for the start of the season.

"There's plenty of time left," Ventura said. "He's been here the whole time. If he wasn't here the whole time, then it would probably be a little bit different."

Ventura added that outfielder Courtney Hawkins should be ready to return by Thursday. Hawkins strained his right shoulder in Saturday's game against the Royals.

Jackson getting closer

General manager Rick Hahn thought Austin Jackson would need about seven to 10 days before he got into Cactus League action after he agreed to a one-year, $5 million deal on Sunday. Jackson has been working through live batting practice over the past few days, including stepping in against Chris Sale Wednesday.

Sale likes what he sees with White Sox in spring

"Probably by the weekend," Ventura said. "Talking to him, I just gave him a 'Hey, go out here and work out and let me know when you start getting closer so we can schedule in when you are going to start seeing game action.'"

Ventura added that Jackson might want to see live pitching on the Minor League side before coming to Cactus League contests.

Olt understands the business

Mike Olt, who played in Wednesday's loss to the A's, cleared outright waivers and remained in big league camp with the White Sox after the team designated him for assignment Sunday to make room for the Jackson addition. Olt, 27, didn't let the move alter his focus in helping the White Sox.

"It's all part of the game," Olt said. "I'm going to go down, get my work in and be ready for whatever happens in the future."

The third baseman is the only player to hit a home run for both the Cubs and White Sox in the same season. He points to being healthy as the most important current factor after suffering a hairline fracture of his right wrist when hit by a pitch with the Cubs last season.

"That's where I am right now," Olt said. "That's the positive I take out of this. My wrist feels healthy, and everything else from there, stuff that I thought could maybe not get healthy, is healthy.

"I'm going to do whatever I can to help the White Sox win. Things happen down the road, you change your mindset to whatever team you are on. Right now, it's White Sox, and that's who I play for and that's it."

Special honorees

The Rookie-level Arizona League White Sox players and coaches were presented with the AZL championship rings prior to Wednesday's game at Camelback Ranch. The AZL White Sox defeated the AZL Mariners to win the 2015 title, leading the league in average (.271), hits (511) and doubles (101), while ranking second in runs (307), home runs (23), RBIs (242) and on-base percentage (.346). Mike Gellinger served as manager of the AZL White Sox.

They said it

"You see guys with physical attributes all the time in this game, guys who are supposed to hit the ball a mile or throw 250 innings. But if you don't have it locked down upstairs, it's going to be a tough road." -- Sale

"When you are falling behind, throwing fastballs, you are going to get beat around a little bit." -- Ventura, on Jacob Turner's rough start Wednesday

Scott Merkin is a reporter for Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.