CHICAGO -- Hector Santiago became a 30th-round bargain for the White Sox from the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, working successfully as a closer and a starter for parts of three seasons with the South Siders.
But after being included in a three-team, offseason trade that brought Adam Eaton to Chicago and sent Santiago to the Angels, the left-hander had to get used to the visitor's environs upon his Monday arrival at U.S. Cellular Field.
"I was just talking about it -- it was weird walking in here," Santiago said. "Usually, you go to the visitor's clubhouse, you walk into the visitor's place you don't know where you're going. I walked in and I walked to the wrong clubhouse. It was like a routine, like I knew where I was going already."
Santiago arrived at noon, about seven hours prior to the scheduled first pitch, and talked to members of the White Sox front office and clubhouse personnel and the training staff on the home side. Although he has now returned to the Angels' rotation after focusing more on attacking the zone during a monthlong Minor League stint, Santiago still considers Chicago home.
"I was only here for a little over two years, but I was with the White Sox for close to eight years," Santiago said. "All the guys over there that I've played with, I came up through the system with all those guys, Thiggy, Joe McEwing, all those guys.
"There's a friendship there like family. I was excited, I know I missed them in California and I was kind of bitter about it, but this is a little better. I come back here and I can see everybody, so it's nice."
Lindstrom upbeat as ankle rehab progresses
CHICAGO -- Matt Lindstrom looked healthy and had an upbeat attitude as he stood in front of his locker Monday talking about his rehab program for a subluxing outside tendon in his left ankle that put him on the disabled list May 20.
Lindstrom had yet to see the doctors when he spoke to the media Monday afternoon, but the White Sox training staff felt he was about one week ahead of schedule.
Part of the reason for Lindstrom's quick healing stems from programs such as acupuncture and laser treatments he employed during the last month that he was away from the team.
"I'm pretty optimistic about it," Lindstrom said. "I've already played catch without the boot on three or four times. It feels pretty good. I'm excited to get going and I tried to do whatever I could the last month once I got that cast off to speed up the healing process a little bit with those different types of treatments."
Lindstrom, 34, had a 2-1 record with six saves and a 3.32 ERA over 19 games before injuring himself fielding a ninth-inning bunt from Alcides Escobar on May 19. The right-handed veteran thought a Minor League rehab assignment at about one month away was possible, but he wouldn't put a timetable on even that portion of the rehab leading to his return.
"It's the side-to-side movement in your ankle. Making the quick move side to side like that," Lindstrom said of the action he needs to work on to simply start throwing a bullpen session. "The landing and everything like that with a bullpen wouldn't be the big thing.
"If a guy laid a bunt down again, how would I react shooting myself off the mound? It's going to take a little bit of time to get that side to side movement going. Up and down, walking, I can do that like a normal person now, which is kind of nice."
Home Run Derby not high priority for Abreu
CHICAGO -- The more Jose Abreu is asked about his possible participation in the Gillette Home Run Derby as part of All-Star festivities on July 14 at Target Field, the less he seems to want to talk about the matter.
Abreu entered Monday tied for the Major League lead at 25 homers with Edwin Encarnacion of the Blue Jays and Nelson Cruz of the Orioles but has expressed a desire to skip the competition if possible.
He spoke with American League Derby captain Jose Bautista in Toronto and was asked if his thoughts had changed upon the team's return to Chicago on Monday. Even through translator and White Sox manager of cultural development Lino Diaz, Abreu indicated there were more pressing issues on his mind.
"To be honest with you, that's not what I'm thinking about right now," Abreu said. "I'm more concentrated on helping the team. I'm not really interested in the Home Run Derby. Things change. We might see, but right now that's not something that's in the top of my priorities.
"We've still got 10, 15 days until the All-Star Game and all that, and that's just not a priority right now. I'm thinking about how I can help so we can get in a better position right now as a team. That's really the importance and the priority."
The slugging first baseman certainly would be an entertaining contestant, standing as the only player in Major League history to reach 25 homers in his first 69 games. But the White Sox certainly are happy and not surprised by his team-first approach.
"That's a mature way to think about it for a guy who is going through his first time of everybody wanting him to do this, wanting him to do that. That's his first thought," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "Since he arrived here, he's always been talking about the team and just trying to win games and wants whatever is best.
"For him, even going in the home run contest, he could do it. If he feels like he could do it and still come back and have the same swing and feeling he has right now, he'll probably do it."
Injury to keep prospect Montas from Futures Game
CHICAGO -- Right-hander Frank Montas, the White Sox No. 16-ranked prospect who was acquired from the Red Sox last season as part of the Jake Peavy /Avisail Garcia deal, was scratched from representing the World Team as part of the July 13 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game.
Montas injured his right knee while running as part of his conditioning program, suffering a similar injury that he had with his left knee during Spring Training.
According to White Sox director of player development Nick Capra, the hope is that Montas can come back after surgery in the last week or so of the Minor League season and then be part of instructional league and maybe the Arizona Fall League. Montas, 21, produced a 4-0 record with a 1.60 ERA over 10 starts for Class A Advanced Winston-Salem, fanning 56 in 62 innings and holding opposing hitters to a .202 average.
"Great progress this season," Capra wrote in an email about Montas. "Command of the fastball was better with a changeup and slider that have the making of big league pitches."