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Busy offseason has Sox’s Mitchell eyeing promotion

(MCT) — GLENDALE, Ariz. — Jared Mitchell received consideration for a promotion to the White Sox last season, and a busy offseason hasn’t hurt the outfielder’s chances of reaching the majors in 2013.

“You are doing a lot wrong if each year you don’t feel progress,” said Mitchell, the Sox’s first pick in 2009. “You don’t feel yourself getting better. I definitely do.”

Mitchell, 24, received rave reviews from assistant general manager Buddy Bell for his work in the Instructional League, and Mitchell and Courtney Hawkins, the Sox’s first pick in 2012, worked out last month in Tampa, Fla., at the Saddlebrook facility that provided plenty of services to prepare for the season.

“It was good to get on a regimen every day, getting up early and prepared to get here right out of the box and be ready to go,” Mitchell said.

Veal’s cut: Donnie Veal limited left-handed batters to three hits in 32 at-bats last season (.094), and he seems content to continue in that role while fellow left-hander Matt Thornton enters the final year of his contract.

“That’s the focus, to get lefties out,” Veal said. “But I’m not going to just hone in on that. I’m going to keep everything open and keep all my pitches available and get right-handers out as well.”

Veal limited right-handers to two hits in 13 at-bats in 2012.

Extra innings: Reliever Jesse Crain said he will leave March 3 for Goodyear, Ariz., to work out with Team Canada for the World Baseball Classic. ... Pitching coach Don Cooper will wear jersey No. 99 in memory of batting practice pitcher Kevin Hickey, who died in May. ... Jake Peavy received a pair of cleats with the letters “AK” inscribed on the tongue in memory of former Padres bullpen coach and mentor Darrel Akerfelds, who died in July. ... Left-hander Charlie Leesman, recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, said he will throw off a mound for the first time March 1.

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