Chicago White Sox players run during a spring training baseball workout Friday, Feb. 19, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Morry Gash
February 19, 2016

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Last season's gone.

That's the way David Robertson put it on the first day of spring training Friday as the Chicago White Sox pitchers and catchers arrived in camp. Others, including Jose Abreu and newcomer Todd Frazier, worked out at Camelback Ranch ahead of Tuesday's official full-squad arrival date.

Hopes were high this time a year ago after general manager Rick Hahn made a series of high-profile moves - trading for Jeff Samardzija and signing Robertson, Adam LaRoche and Melky Cabrera. But the Sox never got on track and finished 76-86, 19 games behind the World Series-winning Kansas City Royals in the American League Central.

Samardzija struggled in his walk year, going 11-13 with a 4.96 ERA before heading to San Francisco in free agency. LaRoche had a miserable season, batting .207 with 12 homers. Cabrera hit .273 with 12 homers and 77 RBIs but did much of that damage in the second half, by which point Chicago's season was sunk.

Robertson pitched well, making 34 saves with a 3.41 ERA and 86 strikeouts in 63 1-3 innings. But he largely remembers his seven blown saves, which tied for the major league lead.

''I feel like I pitched terrible,'' Robertson said. ''I had a lot of horrible outings, made some mental errors, threw some pitches that I should not have thrown, and I cost us a lot of games.

''I'd look around and see the starters' faces after they had just thrown eight innings and I blew it in the ninth. It's frustrating. I hope this year that I'm going to be on top of my game.''

The White Sox haven't posted a winning record in the first half since manager Robin Ventura's first season in 2012. That's something Ventura is trying to address this spring.

''We have things we're going to implement that are going to be a little bit different. But they're the ones that are going to have to get it,'' Ventura said. ''I don't think we hit all that well when we were down here last year, and I think that had a lingering effect.''

The White Sox added power to their infield this offseason by trading for Frazier and Brett Lawrie, but Chicago's strength is still starting pitching. Perennial All-Star Chris Sale leads a group that includes fellow left-handers Jose Quintana, Carlos Rodon and John Danks.

Shortstop Alexei Ramirez left for San Diego via free agency this winter, so Sale is now the No. 2 player in seniority. He trails only Danks, who is entering his 10th season with the Sox.

Sale has been in Chicago six years and is still waiting for a postseason moment. The Sox haven't been to the playoffs since 2008, two years before he arrived.

''It's the only reason we're here,'' he said. ''You don't start off every year to say I want to have a good year and go home early. It doesn't matter how you get there, and once you are there, I've heard anything can happen.''

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NOTES: Veteran Mat Latos and Erik Johnson are expected to battle for the fifth rotation spot. Latos has battled injuries to his right knee since the middle of 2014, but said he feels good after ''finally dealing with it during the offseason.'' ... Latos and catcher Dioner Navarro had success together with the Reds when Cincinnati won the 2012 NL Central title. Latos posted a 2.27 ERA in seven starts with Navarro backstopping. ''We kind of clicked together,'' Navarro said. Navarro is expected to split time with another free agent signing, Alex Avila. The left-handed hitting Avila came over from division rival Detroit.

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