Rule 5 pick Covey relieved to stick with Sox

Righty penciled in as No. 5 starter with Rodon on DL

Rule 5 pick Covey relieved to stick with Sox

CHICAGO -- Dylan Covey's first Opening Day served as the exciting culmination of a nerve-wracking and often challenging Spring Training for the White Sox Rule 5 Draft pick from Oakland.

"Spring is when you want to come in and work on some things. I felt like I wasn't really able to work on things," said Covey, ranked as the No. 27 White Sox prospect by "I had to get outs every single time I went out there.

"So, it was a different Spring Training for me. A lot of guys come in and use Spring Training to get ready. I had to come in to Spring Training ready. There was a lot of pressure, but it worked out."

Covey not only broke camp with the team, but is penciled in as the fifth starter with Carlos Rodon on the disabled list due to bursitis in his biceps tendon. With inclement weather forecast for much of the Tigers series, Covey isn't sure when that first start will happen. Monday's season opener was rained out, with a makeup game scheduled for Tuesday.

But he feels prepared after throwing six innings and approximately 75 pitches in Arizona on Sunday before flying to Chicago Sunday night. Covey was relieved to be able to make that trip.

"Just a surreal feeling, especially in my situation," Covey said. "There was so much pressure on me all spring. When they finally told me, I felt the weight was lifted off of my shoulders.

"If I obviously didn't make the team, I was going back to Oakland and they are kind of backed up in their system right now. I have no idea where I would have gone if I was sent back there. I knew that I had to make the most of every opportunity I got out here."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for since 2003. 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.