Chicago White Sox – MLB Trade Rumors 2018-06-23T17:59:49Z WordPress Steve Adams <![CDATA[White Sox Activate Avisail Garcia, Designate Trayce Thompson]]> 2018-06-22T15:54:58Z 2018-06-22T15:28:35Z The White Sox announced Friday that they’ve activated both Avisail Garcia and Leury Garcia from the disabled list. In order to clear roster space, infielder Jose Rondon has been optioned to Triple-A Charlotte, while outfielder Trayce Thompson has been designated for assignment.

Chicago has been without Avisail Garcia since April 23 thanks to a hamstring strain that proved severe enough to sideline him for almost two months. The slightly younger of the two Garcias activated today (he turned 27 last week shortly before embarking on a minor league rehab assignment), Avisail was off to a slow start prior to his injury, hitting .233/.250/.315 with no walks and 17 strikeouts in 76 plate appearances.

Of course, he’s also fresh off a breakout 2017 season in which he raked at a .330/.380/.506 clip, hitting 18 homers, 27 doubles and five triples along the way. A .380 BABIP undoubtedly contributed to that breakout to an extent, but Garcia’s career-best hard-contact rates and a .359 xwOBA lent some legitimacy to the breakout, even if he’s likely to regress a bit from last year’s pace.

As for Leury Garcia, he’ll return nearly a month due to a sprained left knee. The South Side Swiss army knife has seen action at every position aside from catcher since debuting in 2013 (including two innings of relief pitching), though he’s settled in primarily as an outfielder over the past couple of seasons. He was hitting .262/.308/.369 with a pair of homers and nine steals at the time of his injury. The return of both Garcias should will cut into playing time for each of Daniel Palka, Charlie Tilson and Adam Engel. Matt Davidson, too, could see fewer at-bats for the time being now that there’s a more crowded mix at DH.

Thompson, meanwhile, is being designated for assignment for the fourth time since Spring Training. After being designated by the Dodgers, he made his way from the Yankees to the A’s to the White Sox — the club that originally selected him in the second round of the 2009 draft. Unfortunately for Thompson, his return to the ChiSox didn’t prove to be productive. In 130 trips to the plate back with his original team, Thompson limped to a .116/.153/.215 batting line. He did provide some heroics in his return tour, launching a walk-off homer against the Twins back in early May, but his overall lack of production proved too great to hang onto his roster spot.

The Sox will have a week to trade Thompson or run him throughout outright waivers. He’s yet to clear waivers at any point in his career, though this current lackluster showing could allow the Sox to pass him through unclaimed and outright him back to Charlotte.

Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox Release Michael Saunders]]> 2018-06-21T18:15:56Z 2018-06-21T18:15:56Z The White Sox have released outfielder Michael Saunders, per an announcement from their top affiliate. Top prospect Eloy Jimenez was promoted to Triple-A Charlotte, among other roster moves.

Saunders, 31, has struggled to gain traction this year after a miserable 2017 season. Through 51 plate appearances in the White Sox organization, he managed only a .152/.235/.239 slash, which was only marginally worse than he slashed earlier this year for the Orioles’ top affiliate.

At this point, Saunders is going to have a tough time finding extended opportunities at the highest level of the minors. But he’s still not far removed from a strong 2016 MLB campaign, so surely some team will pick him up.

Fans of the South Siders will take greater notice of the Jimenez promotion, though perhaps they’d prefer to see him moving all the way onto the MLB roster. The 21-year-old had already reached the Double-A level last year, and has mashed there again in 2018 to the tune of a .317/.368/.556 slash with ten home runs in 228 trips to the plate.

Jimenez, of course, is widely considered one of the game’s very best prospects. While we’re reaching the point in the season when contractual considerations no longer pose as significant a barrier to a promotion — with only 102 service-eligible days left in the season, there’s no worry of setting up Super Two status  — the Chicago organization is still taking things relatively slowly with Jimenez.

Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox Outright Gregory Infante]]> 2018-06-16T00:31:42Z 2018-06-16T00:31:42Z The White Sox have outrighted right-handed reliever Gregory Infante, per a club announcement. It seems he’ll remain at Triple-A after clearing waivers.

Infante, 30, gave the South Siders 54 2/3 innings of 3.13 ERA pitching, with 8.1 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9, in 2017. That was rather unexpected, given that six seasons had elapsed between his first, brief stint in the majors and his return last year.

Unfortunately, that nice story has not continued into the current campaign. Infante was knocked around in nine MLB innings before being optioned to Charlotte, where he surrendered 14 earned runs in his 18 innings of action.

Steve Adams <![CDATA[Covey Making Case For Long-Term Rotation Spot]]> 2018-06-15T13:38:10Z 2018-06-15T13:36:53Z
  • Right-hander Dylan Covey has emerged as a surprise contributor in the rotation for the White Sox just months after clearing waivers and being outrighted, writes James Fegan of The Athletic (subscription required). Covey has had unsustainable good fortune in terms of home runs, as he’s yet to allow one this season after being perhaps the most homer-prone pitcher in the Majors last season. But he’s also working with an improved ground-ball rate, better control and more strikeouts as he’s significantly upped the usage of his two-seamer to great effect. Covey has only made six starts at the big league level thus far, but he’s impressed to the point that he’ll be afforded a long leash in proving that he is capable of holding down a long-term spot in the rotation. Considering the fact that the ChiSox acquired Covey in the 2016 Rule 5 Draft (out of the Athletics organization), even if he settles in as a useful back-of-the-rotation starter it’d be a nice bonus.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox Place Nate Jones On 10-Day DL]]> 2018-06-13T19:38:30Z 2018-06-13T19:38:30Z The White Sox have announced that righty Nate Jones is going on the 10-day DL with a pronator muscle strain. Fellow righty Juan Minaya has been recalled to take his place on the active roster.

    While a timeline isn’t yet known, this injury does not bode well for Jones’s potential trade status this summer. Elbow problems limited the 32-year-old to 11 appearances last year and have perhaps contributed to his struggles thus far in 2018.

    It had seemed that Jones may be a target for contenders, particularly given that he has been generating swinging strikes at about at 14% clip again in the early going. He had recorded 27 strikeouts but also 14 walks in his 24 2/3 innings this year. Though he is throwing about as hard as ever, averaging just under 98 mph with his fastball, Jones was also throwing first-pitch strikes at a lower rate than ever before (54.5%).

    That mixed bag did not prevent Jones from earning mention along with some other controllable, high-K relief arms in our recent ranking of the top fifty trade deadline chips. With relatively few appealing rental arms likely to be available, it stands to reason that some contenders will go looking at bullpen pieces that can be kept for future seasons.

    In Jones’s case, a few weeks of success could still turn him into an intriguing asset. He has been dominant in the past, is throwing hard and getting whiffs now, and comes with a great contract situation. His deal includes cheap club options for the next three years to come — the league minimum next year and just $8MM total for the ensuing two campaigns, with an alternative, one-time buyout price of only $1.25MM. (Escalators could boost those values, but only if Jones is healthy and pitching well enough to finish games.)

    A potentially analogous situation arose last year with Sean Doolittle. Though he never showed the walk issues that Jones has, Doolittle did have a similar combination of an impressive track record and concerning injury history. While he had missed time in 2017, Doolittle was healthy at the trade deadline and ended up being dealt. In his case, he returned in mid-June, so Jones will have less time to reestablish himself — if he’s able to make it back before the end of July at all. The odds of that coming to pass still aren’t clear. Long-term health will remain the priority, in any event, particularly since the White Sox still have a lengthy term over which to achieve value on the contract.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mets Claim Chris Beck]]> 2018-06-13T18:16:56Z 2018-06-13T18:09:20Z The Mets have claimed righty Chris Beck off waivers from the White Sox, per club announcements. The 27-year-old had been designated for assignment by the Chicago organization.

    Beck came up as a starter but has mostly worked in a relief role in recent years. He has 119 2/3 MLB innings under his belt, with a cumulative 5.94 ERA and 6.1 K/9 against 5.0 BB/9. The results have improved so far in 2018, as Beck owns a 4.18 ERA in 23 2/3 frames. Frankly, the peripherals don’t really indicate that he has made any strides, though Beck is working at a career-high 95.8 mph with his average fastball.

    Perhaps the Mets feel they can unlock something from the former second-rounder. Of course, the club also may simply feel Beck will help improve the team’s depth situation as several hurlers filter back from the DL.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox Release T.J. House]]> 2018-06-13T13:01:42Z 2018-06-13T13:01:42Z The White Sox have released lefty T.J. House, per a club announcement. He had been playing with the organization’s top affiliate on a minor-league deal.

    House, 28, had a very promising debut showing back in 2014, when he sported big groundball numbers and spun 102 innings of 3.35 ERA ball. But House ran into shoulder problems in the ensuing campaign and hasn’t really shown the same form since.

    For most of the 2016 and 2017 seasons, House produced palatable earned run averages with middling peripherals at the Triple-A level, with brief MLB interludes. Last year, with the Blue Jays, he posted a 4.32 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 over 133 1/3 innings at the highest level of the minors.

    Upon joining the White Sox, it seemed House would have a reasonable chance at elbowing onto the major-league staff. His efforts through 39 2/3 innings in nine starts at Triple-A, however, have not been terribly encouraging. House owns a 6.81 ERA with 5.4 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9, though he has no doubt been unfortunate to strand only 42.9% of the baserunners to reach against him.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Sox Have Not Had Recent Discussions About Demoting Giolito]]> 2018-06-12T20:53:25Z 2018-06-12T20:53:25Z
  • Meanwhile, Lucas Giolito continues to fall shy of expectations for the White Sox. Through a dozen starts this year, including his latest yesterday evening, he carries a 7.08 ERA with just 31 strikeouts to go with 39 walks and a league-leading ten hit batters. As Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune writes, Giolito is getting plenty of leash with the rebuilding South Siders, though it’s tough to know whether or not that’s for the best given just how much he has struggled. There’s still some hope that the former top prospect will develop into a quality big league starter, writes Greenstein, and Giolito is only due to reach his 24th birthday this summer. Still, it’s fair to wonder just how long the club will keep trotting him out if things don’t improve. Skipper Rick Renteria says there haven’t been any recent discussions about sending Giolito down, though he did hint that the club has contemplated the possibility in the past.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[White Sox Release Robbie Ross]]> 2018-06-09T18:27:19Z 2018-06-09T18:27:00Z The White Sox have released left-handed reliever Robbie Ross, according to an announcement from their Triple-A affiliate in Charlotte (h/t: James Fegan of The Athletic).

    The 28-year-old Ross joined the White Sox on a minor league deal in March, which came after he saw MLB action with the Rangers (2012-14) and Red Sox (2015-17) over the previous six seasons. Ross had some success during that span, particularly during the 2012, ’13 and ’15 campaigns, and combined for a 3.92 ERA with 7.46 K/9, 3.27 BB/9 and a 52.2 percent groundball rate in 330 2/3 innings. He didn’t show a significant platoon split, either, as he held same-handed hitters to a .250/.331/.381 line and righty-swingers to a .269/.344/.376 mark.

    Injuries, including elbow and back problems, limited Ross to nine major league frames a year ago. In his return to the mound this season, he struggled in Charlotte, where he logged an 11.81 ERA with 9.28 K/9 and 14.34 BB/9 in 10 2/3 innings.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[White Sox Activate Carlos Rodon, Designate Chris Beck]]> 2018-06-09T15:39:14Z 2018-06-09T15:17:23Z The White Sox have activated left-hander Carlos Rodon from the 60-day disabled list and designated righty Chris Beck for assignment, Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times was among those to report.

    The 25-year-old Rodon will make his season debut against the Red Sox on Saturday after missing the first couple months of 2018 while working back from arthroscopic left shoulder surgery. Rodon underwent the procedure last September to repair a “significant” case of bursitis that helped limit him to 69 1/3 innings. However, he looked strong during his four-start rehab assignment, including three outings with Triple-A Charlotte, where he pitched to a 1.42 ERA with 22 strikeouts against five walks in 12 2/3 innings.

    Rodon hasn’t been nearly that dominant during his major league career, but he has emerged as a solid starter since going third in the 2014 draft. Overall, Rodon has recorded a 3.95 ERA, 9.22 K/9, 3.76 BB/9 and a 45.1 percent groundball rate across 373 2/3 innings. He’s currently making a $2.3MM salary in the first of four potential arbitration-eligible seasons.

    Beck, 27, has been a member of the White Sox since they selected him in the second round of the 2012 draft. He debuted in the majors in 2015, the same year as Rodon, but hasn’t been nearly as successful as his teammate. Beck has registered a 5.94 ERA with 6.09 K/9, 4.96 BB/9 and a 42.1 percent grounder rate in 119 2/3 innings (97 appearances, one start). He opened 2018 with 23 2/3 innings of 4.18 ERA ball and 6.08 K/9 against 4.18 BB/9 prior to his designation.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox Purchase Contract Of Xavier Cedeno]]> 2018-06-07T14:15:18Z 2018-06-07T14:15:18Z The White Sox announced today that they have purchased the contract of veteran lefty Xavier Cedeno. He’ll take the roster spot vacated by southpaw Aaron Bummer, who was optioned down.

    Cedeno, 31, appeared only briefly in the majors last year with the Rays. He has thrown 142 1/3 innings over parts of seven campaigns in the big leagues. He carries a lifetime 3.98 ERA with 8.9 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 at the game’s highest level, where he has held opposing lefties to a .226/.286/.299 cumulative slash but been battered by right-handed hitters (.844 OPS).

    Since joining the Chicago organization on a minors deal, Cedeno has turned in impressive numbers at Triple-A. Through 21 2/3 innings, he has allowed just three earned runs on a dozen hits while recording 25 strikeouts against only four walks.

    Bummer’s performance to date has been rather uplifting, making his demotion a bit of a surprise, though perhaps an opt-out clause in Cedeno’s contract forced the team’s hand. Over 19 1/3 frames on the year, Bummer owns a 3.26 ERA with 9.8 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 as well as a sturdy 60.3% groundball rate. That’s a vast improvement on his walk-marred debut effort last year and is all the more impressive given that opposing hitters have benefited from a lofty .429 BABIP.

    The South Siders had an open 40-man roster spot available, though it seemed that had been cleared to make way for Carlos Rodon. When the team activates Rodon from the 60-day DL this weekend, then, it’ll need to create another opening.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox Outright Alfredo Gonzalez]]> 2018-06-06T19:38:40Z 2018-06-06T19:38:40Z The White Sox announced today that they have outrighted catcher Alfredo Gonzalez. He originally had his contract selected in late May.

    Gonzalez, 25, only made it into three contests but did manage to record his first MLB hit during his brief stay with the Sox. He is a nine-year minor-league veteran who had almost no prior experience at Triple-A entering the season. Through 105 plate appearances this year with Charlotte, he produced a .169/.279/.191 slash.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox Set To Activate Carlos Rodon]]> 2018-06-06T16:31:45Z 2018-06-06T13:18:21Z
  • The White Sox are finally set to welcome back lefty Carlos Rodon, as Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times tweets. It seems he’ll take a start this weekend, though it’s not yet clear who’ll end up being bumped from the rotation. Considered a can’t-miss prospect when he was drafted, Rodon zipped to the majors and has mostly been effective, with a 3.95 ERA over 373 2/3 career innings. While he surely could still iron some things out — in particular, limiting walks and long balls — the real question is his health after shoulder surgery late last year. Rodon has certainly bee in form on his rehab assignment, allowing three earned and carrying a 28:5 K/BB ratio in 17 2/3 innings.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[White Sox Trade Brad Goldberg To Diamondbacks]]> 2018-06-03T22:23:47Z 2018-06-03T22:21:55Z
  • The Diamondbacks have acquired right-handed reliever Brad Goldberg from the White Sox for cash considerations, per Scott Merkin of and Zach Buchanan of The Athletic. Goldberg, 28, will now head to his second organization after initially joining Chicago in the 10th round of the 2013 draft. The hard thrower debuted in the majors last year with 12 innings of 8.25 ERA ball, but other than that, he has worked exclusively in the minors (including a 22 1/3-inning run at Double-A this season).  Goldberg owns a 3.07 ERA with 9.0 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9 in 91 Triple-A innings.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Playoff Teams Showing Interest In James Shields ]]> 2018-06-03T00:39:40Z 2018-06-03T00:35:06Z White Sox right-hander James Shields is drawing interest from playoff contenders as the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline creeps closer, Bruce Levine of 670 The Score reports. The 36-year-old turned in his fourth straight quality start Saturday and has pitched to a 4.48 ERA/4.28 FIP with 6.01 K/9, 3.66 BB/9 and a 38.1 percent groundball rate in 76 1/3 innings this season. Shields is on a $21MM salary – though his previous team, San Diego, is paying $11MM of that – and has a $16MM club option for 2019. His employer is sure to decline that in favor of a $2MM buyout, as Levine notes.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[White Sox Place Matt Davidson On DL, Designate Ricardo Pinto, Select Matt Skole]]> 2018-06-02T18:29:04Z 2018-06-02T18:28:38Z June 2nd: Pinto has been outrighted to Triple-A Charlotte, Scott Merkin of reports on Twitter.

    May 28th: The White Sox have placed designated hitter/corner infielder Matt Davidson on the disabled list, designated right-hander Ricardo Pinto for assignment and selected the contract of corner infielder Matt Skole, according to Scott Merkin of

    Back spasms have already kept Davidson out of action for nearly a week, so his DL placement is retroactive to May 25. The former well-regarded prospect had finally been enjoying a breakout season when healthy. In his age-27 campaign, Davidson has slashed .243/.368/.521 with 11 home runs in 171 plate appearances to perhaps emerge as a long-term piece for the rebuilding White Sox.

    While Davidson has continued his high-strikeout ways, having fanned 32.2 percent of the time, he has also notched a personal-best 15.8 percent walk rate – up from the paltry 4.3 mark he posted in 2017. Moreover, Davidson ranks in the league’s upper echelon in exit velocity on fly balls and line drives, barrels per plate appearance and xwOBA (.419), according to Statcast.

    Davidson’s injury creates room for Skole, who inked a minors deal with the White Sox in the offseason. Skole, a fifth-round pick of the Nationals in 2011, is now in position to make his major league debut at the age of 28. Once a promising prospect, Skole owns a .241/.336/.440 line in 1,168 PAs at Triple-A, including a .259/.360/.442 showing in 172 tries this season.

    The addition of Skole could cost the White Sox the 24-year-old Pinto, whom they acquired from the Phillies in March. Pinto hasn’t exactly turned in great results at Triple-A Charlotte, having logged an 8.10 ERA with 8.10 K/9 and 7.2 BB/9 over 10 innings. He was far more successful last year at the minors’ highest level with the Phillies, as he recorded a 3.86 ERA, 6.82 K/9 and 2.67 BB/9 across 60 frames. Pinto even racked up 29 2/3 innings in Philly, but he struggled to a 7.89 ERA during that span.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[White Sox Sign Jairo Labourt To Minors Deal]]> 2018-05-30T02:00:20Z 2018-05-30T02:00:20Z
  • The White Sox have signed left-hander Jairo Labourt, per an announcement from the team’s Double-A affiliate (hat tip: The Athletic’s James Fegan, on Twitter). The lefty has bounced all over the league since being designated for assignment by the Tigers in March when the team signed Francisco Liriano. Labourt went from Detroit to Cincinnati to Oakland via waivers before being released by the A’s, after which he returned to the Tigers. He didn’t pitch for a Tigers affiliate this year, though, before once again being cut loose. Labourt, once a fairly well-regarded prospect who went from Toronto to Detroit as part of the David Price blockbuster, has developed some alarming control issues over the past year. In 28 innings between Triple-A and the Majors last year, Labourt walked 30 batters.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Should The White Sox Sign Hanley?]]> 2018-05-28T05:03:39Z 2018-05-28T05:03:39Z
  • Once Hanley Ramirez passes through the DFA process, Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune argues that the White Sox should sign the veteran slugger as a short-term boost for the DH spot and for the lineup as a whole.  Essentially, it would be a “what’s the worst that could happen?” signing for the team, Sullivan admits, and it may not necessarily make sense for a team that is prioritizing young players.  I’d also add that if Chicago did sign Ramirez, he could potentially be flipped at the deadline or in August if he heats up at the plate.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Renteria: Sox Not Considering Giolito Demotion Yet]]> 2018-05-25T02:06:14Z 2018-05-25T02:06:14Z
  • The White Sox aren’t giving much consideration to sending Lucas Giolito to the minors despite his substantial struggles to this point in the year, manager Rick Renteria told reporters after today’s loss (link via Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times). “He’s just a young man who’s gotta continue to minimize the emotional aspect of crossing from preparation into the game and staying focused, relaxed, and hammer the zone with strikes,” Renteria said of the struggling Giolito, who was rocked for seven runs in 1 1/3 innings earlier today and now has a 7.53 ERA with more walks (34) than strikeouts (27) in 47 2/3 innings. Renteria said he doesn’t consider the struggles of Giolito and recently optioned teammate Carson Fulmer to be similar, noting that Giolito has been able to pitch into the sixth and seventh innings with greater frequency.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox Claim Dustin Garneau]]> 2018-05-24T17:53:32Z 2018-05-24T17:35:02Z The White Sox have claimed catcher Dustin Garneau off waivers from the Athletics, per a club announcement. Righty Miguel Gonzalez was bumped to the 60-day DL to create a 40-man spot.

    Garneau had just been designated for assignment. Now, he’ll head to Chicago to help bolster a catching unit that just lost starter Welington Castillo for much of the rest of the season.

    The 30-year-old Garneau hasn’t played in the majors this year, but has appeared in 87 games over the past three seasons. He hasn’t hit much in his limited opportunities at the game’s highest level, and is carrying a paltry .208/.263/.333 batting line in 80 plate appearances this season at Triple-A, but at times he has posted quality offensive numbers in the upper minors.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox Select Contract Of Alfredo Gonzalez]]> 2018-05-24T15:27:55Z 2018-05-24T15:27:55Z The White Sox have announced a trio of roster moves following the official suspension of Welington Castillo. To account for the opening behind the plate, the club has selected the contract of backstop Alfredo Gonzalez.

    Additionally, the Chicago organization announced that infielder Leury Garcia is going onto the 10-day DL with a knee sprain. Taking his spot on the active roster is outfielder Charlie Tilson.

    The 25-year-old Gonzalez will get his first shot at the majors after nine seasons of minor-league action. Presumably, he’s viewed as a trusted option behind the dish, as he has not really distinguished himself with the bat. Gonzalez posted a .607 OPS last year at Double-A and is off to a .169/.279/.191 slash with 33 strikeouts in his 105 plate appearances this season for Triple-A Charlotte.

    Meanwhile, this’ll represent a notable return to the majors for Tilson, who suffered a significant injury during his debut game in 2016. A series of health problems ended up keeping him out for all of the ensuing season. Tilson has been back in action thus far in 2018, though he has managed only a .248/.288/.298 slash in his 173 Triple-A plate appearances on the year.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Welington Castillo Receives 80-Game PED Suspension]]> 2018-05-24T15:10:13Z 2018-05-24T15:08:21Z TODAY: Castillo has officially been suspended after testing positive for banned performance-enhancer Erythopoieton, per a league announcement.

    YESTERDAY: White Sox catcher Welington Castillo has been slapped with an 80-game suspension following a failed PED test, per Dominican journalist Americo Celado. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweets the same, and it seems that an announcement from the league could come tomorrow.

    Castillo, 31, signed a two-year, $15MM contract with the White Sox in the offseason and will forfeit nearly half of his $7.25MM salary on the 2018 season as a result of the 80-game ban. For the time being, it seems likely that Omar Narvaez will step up as the team’s primary catcher, though the Sox will need to make another move to add a backup to the equation.

    Kevan Smith could conceivably be an option eventually, though The Athletic’s James Fegan tweets that he was just placed on the disabled list yesterday. Chicago doesn’t have another catcher on its 40-man roster, so it could have to select either Alfredo Gonzalez or Brett Austin from Triple-A Charlotte.

    Blake Swihart figures to draw his fair share of speculation in connection with the ChiSox, as the agent for the seldom-used Boston backstop recently requested that the Red Sox trade his client. Looking to the waiver wire, the A’s designated Dustin Garneau for assignment yesterday, and he could be a quick fix to at least give the White Sox another option behind the plate while Smith mends.

    Though the Sox are just 14-31 on the season, it’s a tough loss for the team all the same. Castillo got off to a fine start this season, hitting .270/.314/.477 with six homers through his first 32 games and 118 trips to the plate. He’s done a good job of controlling the running game (32 percent caught-stealing rate), as well.

    Castillo, of course, becomes the second prominent player in the past week to be hit with an 80-game ban for a failed PED test. Robinson Cano tested positive for a banned diuretic that acts as a masking agent to performance-enhancing substances last week. Rosenthal notes that Castillo tested positive for a banned substance but not directly for a steroid, so it seems possible that he had a similar substance to that of Cano in his bloodstream at the time of the test.

    Jason Martinez <![CDATA[Knocking Down The Door: Alcantara, De Los Santos, Fletcher, Jimenez, Santana]]> 2018-05-23T21:04:35Z 2018-05-23T21:04:35Z “Knocking Down the Door” is a regular feature that identifies minor leaguers who are making a case for a big league promotion.

    Sandy Alcantara, SP, Marlins (Triple-A New Orleans) | Marlins Depth Chart

    In this rebuilding season, the Marlins are taking the opportunity to evaluate several young starting pitchers at the Major League level. Dillon Peters and Trevor Richards are back in Triple-A after getting an extended look. Jarlin Garcia made six starts before being moved to the bullpen. He was replaced in the rotation by Rule 5 pick Elieser Hernandez. Triple-A starters Zac Gallen and Ben Meyer have both been good enough to warrant a promotion, and 22-year-old Pablo Lopez (1 ER in 31 2/3 IP) has been one of the best pitchers at the Double-A level. Next in line, though, should be Alcantara, the prized prospect acquired from the Cardinals in the offseason trade of Marcell Ozuna.

    After tossing eight shutout innings in his latest start, the 22-year-old right-hander’s debut with the Marlins has to be on the horizon. Alcantara doesn’t have the high strikeout rate that you’d expect from a top prospect, but he throws in the mid-to-high 90s—he averaged 98 MPH in eight relief appearances last season—and has been a strike-throwing machine as of late. Since walking 16 batters over his first six starts, Alcantara has been in control over his last three outings with only one walk in 20 innings, including back-to-back starts without issuing a free pass. As a comparison, he walked a batter in all but one of his 22 Double-A starts last season.

    If the Marlins hold off and give Alcantara two more Triple-A starts, he could make his ’18 debut when they face his former team in St. Louis between June 5th-June 7th.

    Enyel De Los Santos, SP, Phillies (Triple-A Lehigh Valley) | Phillies Depth Chart

    The Phillies’ rotation is on a roll—they have the sixth-lowest ERA in the Majors and the third most quality starts—and currently have no weak link in their five-man rotation. But despite lacking a clear path to the Majors, De Los Santos is making it obvious that he’s ready when needed.

    After allowing a run in each of his first three Triple-A starts, the 6’3″ right-hander stepped it up a notch with three consecutive scoreless outings, a quality start on May 16th (6 IP, 3 ER) and another gem yesterday (7 IP, ER, BB, 5 K). At just 22 years of age, De Los Santos is dominating at the Triple-A level (1.39 ERA, 3.0 BB/9 and 9.7 K/9) and also has a 150-inning season under his belt at the Double-A level. With the Phillies primed for a playoff run, it’s almost certain that the young workhorse will figure into their plans at some point.

    David Fletcher, INF, Angels (Triple-A Salt Lake) | Angels Depth Chart 

    Replacing an accomplished 12-year veteran who is struggling mightily at the plate with an unproven prospect who is putting up huge numbers in Triple-A is not an easy decision. While the 35-year-old Ian Kinsler is no longer the hitter who slashed .288/.348/.484 with 28 homers back in 2016, he’s probably not as bad as he’s looked through his first 149 plate appearances of 2018, either (.197/.275/.288). Regardless, the Angels have to at least be considering whether it’s time to give the 23-year-old Fletcher a chance.

    After a subpar performance during his first full season in the upper minors in 2017 (.655 OPS in 111 games between Triple-A and Double-A), the former sixth-round draft pick has taken a huge step forward in 2018. He already has 20 multi-hit games and 28 extra-base hits—he had 24 total extra-base hits in 2017—while striking out just 13 times in 193 trips to the plate. A rare 0-fer on Tuesday has his slash line down to .356/.401/.599 in 192 plate appearances. Capable of playing second base, third base and shortstop, Fletcher could be used in a utility role while taking at-bats away from Kinsler, who is currently in a 5-for-34 rut.

    Eloy Jimenez | USA Today Sports Images

    Eloy Jimenez, OF, White Sox (Double-A Birmingham) | White Sox Depth Chart

    It’s not surprising that 19-year-old Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has been the most impressive and most talked-about prospect in Double-A since the start of the season. But Jimenez, who began the season on the disabled list with a strained pectoral muscle, is quickly making up for lost time. The 21-year-old debuted on April 19th and, after going hitless in his first 11 at-bats, is now hitting .328/.360/.608 with eight homers and 11 doubles.

    While he doesn’t have the plate discipline of Guerrero or Juan Soto, another impressive 19-year-old who made his MLB debut with the Nationals this past weekend, Jimenez doesn’t strike out a ton. He has 21 total strikeouts (a 15.9 percent clip) and has gone without a strikeout in 15 of his 31 games. When he does put the ball in play, it’s often very loud. There’s also a clear path to the Majors on a rebuilding White Sox team with one of the least-productive group of outfielders in baseball.

    Dennis Santana, SP, Dodgers (Triple-A Oklahoma City) | Dodgers Depth Chart

    Digging deep into their starting pitching depth is nothing new for the Dodgers. They’ve been doing it for years and, for the most part, their second wave of starting pitching has done an excellent job. This year has been no exception with Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill and Hyun-Jin Ryu on the disabled list and Walker Buehler (2.38 ERA in six starts), Ross Stripling (3.26 ERA in four starts) and Brock Stewart (one run in four innings in his lone spot start) doing their part to hold down the fort. Next in line could be the 22-year-old Santana, who threw six shutout innings with only three singles allowed and 11 strikeouts in his Triple-A debut over the weekend.

    After he struggled badly in seven Double-A starts last season (5.51 ERA, 6.3 BB/9), an MLB debut in 2018 did not appear to be in the cards despite being added to the 40-man roster over the offseason. But that’s changed after eight impressive Double-A starts (2.56 ERA, 3.3 BB/9, 11.9 K/9) and, probably even more so, after whiffing 11 hitters without issuing a walk over six shutout innings in his Triple-A debut. Like Kenley Jansen and Pedro Baez, Santana started his professional career as a position player—he was a shortstop for one season after signing in 2013—so he should feel at home in the Dodgers’ clubhouse.

    Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox Release Todd Cunningham]]> 2018-05-23T19:53:46Z 2018-05-23T19:41:55Z
  • Outfielder Todd Cunningham has been cut loose by the White SoxMatt Eddy of Baseball America reports. The 29-year-old has not seen the majors since 2016 and has only accumulated 130 plate appearances there in total. He has bounced between multiple organizations over the past two seasons. After a useful showing at the plate in Triple-A in 2017 (.284/.404/.414), Cunningham has struggled to a .163/.246/.204 slash in his first sixty plate appearances of the current season.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox Sign Alex Presley]]> 2018-05-23T18:35:28Z 2018-05-23T18:35:28Z The White Sox have agreed to a minors deal with outfielder Alex Presley, with a club announcement confirming the report of MLBTR’s Steve Adams (on Twitter). The Sports Pro Services client will report to the organization’s top affiliate in Charlotte.

    Presley had recently opted out of his deal with the Orioles, taking his release when the team decided not to add him to its MLB roster. The 32-year-old had turned in a productive opening to his time at Triple-A Norfolk, slashing .288/.362/.385 on the year.

    Of course, it’s not surprising to see Presley reaching base in the highest level of the minors, as he owns a .361 on-base mark (along with a .296 batting average and .425 slugging percentage) in over two thousand total trips to the plate at Triple-A. That skillset has earned him quite a few chances (1,502 plate appearances) in the majors over the years, though Presley has yet to sustain success there, with a cumulative .263/.306/.388 batting line.

    The Chicago organization represents a fairly appealing landing spot at the moment, as the team has dealt with some outfield injuries and promises to have quite a few opportunities over the course of a rebuilding season. Presley will join recent Orioles minor-league teammate Michael Saunders in trying to earn a shot at the major-league level with the South Siders after failing to do so in Baltimore.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[White Sox Sign Michael Saunders To Minor League Deal]]> 2018-05-21T20:29:11Z 2018-05-21T20:24:31Z Veteran outfielder Michael Saunders has signed a minor league contract with the White Sox, according to an announcement from the team’s Triple-A affiliate in Charlotte. He’s on the active roster for today’s game. Saunders, who recently opted out of a minor league pact with the Orioles, is represented by Meister Sports Management.

    Saunders, 31, had a tough time with Baltimore’s top affiliate, logging a paltry .161/.291/.253 batting line with a homer, three doubles, a triple and two steals in 103 plate appearances. He struck out 23 times while playing with Norfolk though did still show a decent recognition of the strike zone, drawing 16 walks as well.

    It’s been a steep decline for Saunders, a 2016 All-Star with the Blue Jays. The Canadian-born outfielder wore down in the second half of that season and endured similar struggles with the 2017 Phillies after signing a one-year deal as a free agent.

    Saunders was a top prospect with the Mariners and, in addition to his terrific first half in 2016 showed strong potential in Seattle on multiple occasions. Injuries, however, have been an ongoing issue throughout his career. Most recently, he missed the majority of the 2015 season after suffering a torn meniscus in Spring Training that required surgery. Saunders has also dealt with shoulder injuries and missed time due to an oblique issue in the Majors as well. He’ll look to get back on track with a White Sox club that recently saw Nicky Delmonico land on the disabled list and is also without right fielder Avisail Garcia, which could eventually lead to some opportunities at the MLB level if he performs well with the Knights.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Joe Girardi, ChiSox Managerial Candidate?]]> 2018-05-21T01:25:11Z 2018-05-21T01:25:11Z
  • The Reds have been playing better under Jim Riggleman, but if the team does still want to make a long-term change in the dugout, Heyman hears that the team isn’t going to be spending big on a managerial salary.  A new skipper will almost certainly make less than Dusty Baker’s $3.5MM annual salary when he was running the team.  This could rule out a star hire like Joe Girardi, who impressed Reds ownership when he interviewed for the job prior to Baker’s hiring.  Interestingly, Heyman believes that Girardi — an Illinois native — could be a candidate if the White Sox decided to make a managerial change, though there isn’t any indication that the Sox are considering moving on from Rick Renteria.  That scenario would have a strong echo of Renteria’s last managerial job, when he stewarded the Cubs through some rebuilding years before being replaced by another star manager in Joe Maddon.

  • ]]>
    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Cafardo: White Sox "Likely" To Trade Jose Abreu]]> 2018-05-20T21:59:51Z 2018-05-20T21:59:18Z
  • First baseman Jose Abreu is “likely” to be the next player the White Sox trade, Cafardo writes. Even though the White Sox are rebuilding, they’ve continued to hold on to the 31-year-old Abreu, in part because he has emerged as a key mentor to their young players. Abreu would figure to garner interest from contenders, though, considering he’s having another big offensive season (.294/.366/.518 with eight HRs in 183 plate appearances) and under wraps through 2019.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Avisail Garcia Out For At Least Another Month]]> 2018-05-20T20:15:10Z 2018-05-20T19:54:18Z White Sox right fielder Avisail Garcia likely won’t return to game action until the end of June, the team announced. Garcia, who has been out since April 24 with a strained right hamstring, underwent an MRI “that revealed improvement but the continued presence of a grade 2 strain,” per the club. On the heels of a terrific 2017, Garcia looked like a potential trade chip entering this season. However, between Garcia’s lengthy absence and the fact that he opened 2018 with a .233/.250/.315 line and no walks in 76 pre-injury plate appearances, his trade value has likely taken a sizable hit this year.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox Lose Nicky Delmonico To Fractured Hand, Option Carson Fulmer]]> 2018-05-19T05:05:57Z 2018-05-19T05:05:57Z White Sox outfielder Nicky Delmonico has been diagnosed with a fracture to the third metacarpal on his right hand, the club announced. Additionally, the team has elected to option righty Carson Fulmer after another rough outing tonight, as James Fegan of The Athletic was among those to tweet.

    Delmonico is expected to miss approximately four to six weeks of action. The 25-year-old had turned in quite a promising debut effort in 2017. But he was struggling along with most of the rest of his team in the current campaign. Through 133 plate appearances, he carries only a .226/.331/.304 slash with 133 plate appearances.

    That’ll put the organization’s outfield depth to the test, with Avisail Garcia already sidelined. Daniel Palka and Trayce Thompson could function in a platoon. The other options on the 40-man roster are Charlie Tilson and Ryan Cordell, though neither has hit well at all this year at Triple-A.

    As for Fulmer, his outing today — which included eight earned runs and five walks in two innings — was just the latest sign of trouble. The former first-round pick has now allowed 29 earned runs with an unsightly 29:24 K/BB ratio in 32 1/3 innings on the year. He’s allowing home runs in bunches and generating a mediocre 6.7% swinging-strike rate, so there’s really not much in the way of positives at this point. Of course, he’s still just 24 years of age, so the Sox will hope he can still tap into his promise after some time at Triple-A.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Reynaldo Lopez Performing Well For White Sox]]> 2018-05-15T18:45:54Z 2018-05-15T15:13:37Z
  • The White Sox are going through some predictable growing pains, but as Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune writes, righty Reynaldo Lopez has certainly been effective to this point. Lopez carries a 2.44 ERA through 44 1/3 innings, which is a nice development for a 24-year-old hurler who has long shown promise — but who has also faced questions as to whether he’d ultimately end up in a bullpen role. Of course, it’s worth withholding judgment on his long-term outlook. While Lopez may well end up being the South Siders’ All-Star representative, his good results have not been supported by the underlying numbers. Lopez has been exceedingly fortunate on batted balls (.372 xwOBA vs. .280 wOBA; .202 BABIP) and has not excelled in terms of strikeouts (6.3 K/9), walks (3.9 BB/9), home runs (1.22 HR/9) or groundballs (30.0%). Perhaps he’ll find a way to continue capitalizing on his talent, but it seems Lopez will need to make adjustments to maintain anything approaching his current output.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Jose Abreu Hopes To Spend Career With White Sox]]> 2018-05-12T23:31:45Z 2018-05-12T23:31:14Z Even though the White Sox own the majors’ worst record (9-26), first baseman Jose Abreu tells Scott Merkin of that he supports Chicago’s rebuilding effort and would like to remain with the team for the rest of his career. “Of course, there is not any doubt about it,” the 31-year-old said through an interpreter. “My mom and dad, they taught me to always be grateful, and I’m really grateful for this organization because of all the things they have done for me and the opportunities they gave me.” The White Sox are the only major league franchise Abreu has known since emigrating from Cuba in 2013 for a six-year, $68MM guarantee. Since then, not only has Abreu delivered positive on-field results for the Sox, but he has emerged as a key leader for the young team, according to vice president Ken Williams. “He’s like having an extra coach on hand,” said Williams. “I cannot overstate the quality person that he is. I hope he really hears and understands how we feel about him.” If the White Sox continue to elect against trading Abreu, they’ll soon have a decision to make on whether to extend him. Although Abreu only has one more year of arbitration eligibility left after the current season, Merkin suggests there haven’t been contract talks between him and the club.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[White Sox Sign Johnny Giavotella]]> 2018-05-12T20:22:52Z 2018-05-12T20:21:32Z The White Sox have signed free-agent second baseman Johnny Giavotella, according to an announcement from Birmingham, their Double-A affiliate. Giavotella will begin his White Sox tenure in Birmingham.

    The 30-year-old Giavotella had been available since the Marlins released him May 3, which came after he batted .214/.389/.250 in 36 plate appearances with their Triple-A team. He also spent nearly all of last season at Triple-A (with the Orioles’ affiliate), where he hit a solid .306/.368/.441 in 379 PAs.

    While Giavotella hasn’t been a factor in the majors lately, he did see extensive action at times with the Royals and Angels from 2011-16. In all, the righty-swinger has taken 1,344 trips to the plate at the game’s highest level and hit .255/.294/.359.

    With his new organization, Giavotella will begin as minors depth for a club missing its star second baseman, Yoan Moncada, who landed on the disabled list last weekend on account of hamstring tightness. The White Sox have since turned to Jose Rondon, Leury Garcia and Yolmer Sanchez at the keystone.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[White Sox Release Jorge Rondon]]> 2018-05-11T15:40:32Z 2018-05-11T15:40:32Z
  • Right-hander Jorge Rondon was released from the White Sox’ Double-A affiliate in Birmingham, per the Southern League transactions log. The 30-year-old Rondon tossed 19 innings in the Majors between the Pirates, Cardinals, Rockies and Orioles from 2014-16, though he struggled at each stop and allowed 28 runs with a 13-to-11 K/BB ratio in just 19 innings at the game’s top level. Rondon has a career 2.81 ERA in 263 innings at the Triple-A level, but he’s never missed all that many bats (6.8 K/9 in AAA) and was off to a fairly pedestrian start to his 2018 campaign (14-to-8 K/BB ratio, 13 hits allowed, 4.85 ERA in 13 innings).
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox Prospect Jake Burger Re-Tears Achilles]]> 2018-05-09T15:59:06Z 2018-05-09T15:59:06Z White Sox prospect Jake Burger has re-torn his Achilles tendon, GM Rick Hahn tells reporters including Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times (Twitter links). The recent first-round pick was rehabbing a prior tear that occurred in late February.

    Burger was already down for the year, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t a significant new development in its own right. He will now have to start over in his rehab after undergoing a second surgical replacement. With a full-year absence required, that means there’s little hope that Burger will be ready for the start of the 2019 season.

    Clearly, the 22-year-old was not going to be a part of the immediate plans for the Chicago organization even before the initial injury. But the successive procedures don’t exactly help his long-term outlook, though at this point there’s no reason to believe he can’t get back to full health.

    The White Sox will ultimately have to wait quite a bit longer than originally anticipated to see a contribution from Burger, the 11th overall pick last summer out of Missouri State. He hit at a .263/.336/.412 rate in his 217 innings in the low minors last year, so clearly was still in need of significant seasoning. Now, he’ll need to work through quite a lengthy rehab process before re-starting his march toward the majors.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Will Adam Engel Stick With The Sox?]]> 2018-05-09T02:10:03Z 2018-05-09T02:10:03Z
  •’s Scott Merkin tackles several White Sox questions in his latest reader inbox, kicking off by discussing Adam Engel’s spot with the club moving forward. Per Merkin, the organization believes that Engel’s blistering speed gives him the potential for elite range in center field, but GM Rick Hahn has also been “forthright” in stating that the 26-year-old will need to produce more at the plate if he is to have any sort of long-term role with the team. The ChiSox have given Engel 423 plate appearances dating back to Opening Day 2017, but he’s posted a miserable .167/.237/.271 slash with a 33 percent strikeout rate in that time.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mets Expect To Trade Matt Harvey]]> 2018-05-08T21:22:27Z 2018-05-08T21:22:35Z May 8: The Mets have been trying to add a catcher in return for Harvey, per Mike Puma of the New York Post (Twitter link). Puma adds that the Padres are also in the mix for Harvey.

    May 7: The Mets are “confident” they will strike a deal involving righty Matt Harvey, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (via Twitter). At this point, says Rosenthal, there are “four to five teams interested” in taking a chance on the former ace.

    Harvey was formally designated for assignment on May 5th, meaning his situation will be resolved one way or another by Saturday the 12th. If he’s not traded, Harvey would need to go onto waivers; if he were then to pass through unclaimed, he’d hit the open market (whether by release or by rejecting an outright assignment).

    We checked in earlier today on some teams with varying degrees of interest in Harvey. The Giants seem clearly to be involved, though their interest level isn’t clear. (Andy Martino of tweets there’s “very strong” interest, while’s Mark Feinsand reports (via Twitter) that it’s much more tepid, with some significant roadblocks to a swap.) Martino adds the Reds as a possibility, joining the previously reported Mariners in that regard. And Mike Puma of the New York Post tweets that the White Sox are also in the mix. There’s some uncertainty about the status of the Orioles, but they are among the organizations that would make some degree of sense on paper.

    Of course, we’ve also seen plenty of reports of other teams that will not be in on the 29-year-old. It appears the Rangers have decided against pursuing Harvey in a trade scenario despite giving it serious consideration. Otherwise, the RaysTigersRed Sox, and Yankees are said not to be involved.

    If a deal does, in fact, get done, Rosenthal says not to expect the Mets to shave away much salary. With something on the order of $4.5MM still owed to Harvey for the rest of the season, the New York organization anticipates paying the “vast majority” in hopes of securing “something in return” in a deal.

    Reading the tea leaves, then, the Mets aren’t really looking for a MLB asset back that might offset some of the Harvey commitment. It’s possible the team will be able to find another organization willing to give a bit of young talent, but it’ll take deft work for GM Sandy Alderson to achieve significant value.

    Harvey, after all, has managed only a 5.93 ERA with 6.9 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in his 212 1/3 innings since the start of the 2016 season. His velocity has continued to trail off as the arm injuries have mounted. As outstanding as he was before a procedure to address thoracic outlet syndrome, Harvey has struggled badly ever since.

    Clearly, some front offices around the game still think that Harvey can at least deliver some useful innings from the back of a rotation. Just what they’ll give up to find out remains to be seen.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Danny Farquhar Discharged From Hospital]]> 2018-05-07T21:09:33Z 2018-05-07T21:09:33Z The White Sox announced this afternoon that right-hander Danny Farquhar has been discharged from RUSH University Medical Center. He’s resting at home with his family, per the update. While that’s tremendous news in and of itself, the Sox’ press release also indicates that while Farquhar will not pitch again in 2018, his neurosurgeon expects that he’ll be able to return to pitching in the future.

    Farquhar, 31, endured one of the most frightening medical ordeals in recent memory when he collapsed in the dugout following a relief appearance last month. He was rushed to the hospital, where it was determined that he’d suffered a brain hemorrhage due to a ruptured brain aneurysm. Best wishes to Farquhar in his continued recovery, and here’s hoping for a return to the mound in the future.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox Place Yoan Moncada On 10-Day DL]]> 2018-05-05T19:55:03Z 2018-05-05T19:55:03Z The White Sox have placed young second baseman Yoan Moncada on the 10-day DL, per a club announcement. He’ll be replaced by fellow infielder Jose Rondon.

    At the moment, it does not seem as if there’s much reason to expect a lengthy absence for Moncada. He has been diagnosed with hamstring tightness, an issue that has forced him out of two recent ballgames. But Moncada said yesterday that he felt he’d only need a few days off, as James Fegan of The Athletic tweeted.

    It’s certainly understandable that the Sox would take a conservative course with Moncada, who’ll turn 23 later this month. He’s off to a strong start, turning in 132 plate appearances of .263/.359/.509 hitting with six home runs and four stolen bases. Moncada has also graded as a positive overall with the glove and on the bases.

    That output does come with a worrisome 37.1% strikeout rate for a player who’ll probably always swing and miss a fair bit. Though he’s also walking in 12.9% of his plate appearances, Moncada surely won’t maintain a .407 batting average on balls in play. Of course, it’s certainly worth noting as well that he’s legitimately stinging the ball when he does make contact, with a 95.0 mph average exit velocity that’s among the best in baseball.

    The 24-year-old Rondon, meanwhile, will get his second crack at the majors after a brief call-up with the Padres in 2016. He has been off to a nice start at Triple-A, turning in a .290/.347/.473 slash, though he’s also striking out at a significantly higher rate (24.8%) than he has in prior seasons as a professional. Rondon came to Chicago in a swap with the Friars in January of this year.

    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[AL Central Notes: Farquhar, Romero, Goody, Soler]]> 2018-05-05T15:06:45Z 2018-05-05T15:00:16Z Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports shares details of the long road ahead for White Sox reliever Danny Farquhar after the right-hander suffered a recent brain aneurysm. The incident occurred in the Sox dugout just under two weeks ago following an outing against Houston, and caused Farquhar to be hospitalized in what was a scary few hours. As Passan notes, 40% of people who suffer a brain aneurysm don’t survive them, while half of those who survive end up with resulting disabilities. He adds that success in the early stages afterwards is measured in small improvements. Farquhar’s agent says he’s been progressing and has a positive outlook. It’s fair to think it’ll be a significant amount of time before Farquhar is able to pick up a baseball again, but the early signs are encouraging for the right-hander’s health. Passan’s lengthy piece also details some historical precedents for aneurysms in baseball players, as well as the adversity Farquhar has already overcome in his seven-year MLB career. We at MLBTR are relieved to hear that Farquhar is stable, and wish him the best of fortunes in the road to recovery.

    Other items from around the AL Central…

    • Speaking of close calls, Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press has a story from Twins rookie Fernando Romero’s past, when the right-hander almost drowned in a hotel pool. It took a while for Romero to gradually overcome his fear of swimming, but he now uses it as a conditioning method to strengthen his shoulder for pitching purposes. Berardino also tells the tale of how Romero nearly went unsigned for an entire international period, failing to receive an offer from any of the 50 scouts in attendance at a showcase. The main knock on him was lack of a “major league body”, and a perceived likelihood that he’d get hurt. Ultimately Romero found his way to the Perfect Game Tournament, where several more scouts were in attendance, and while the Astros made a strong run at him, he ultimately went to the Twins for a signing bonus of $260K.
    • According to Terry Francona (via a tweet from Jordan Bastian of, it’s best-case scenario outcome for Indians reliever Nick Goody, who left the first game of Thursday’s doubleheader with an elbow injury. Tests have revealed no structural damage; it’s thought that Goody’s pain was the result of hyperextending his elbow. He’ll reportedly be shut down for a week and then re-evaluated. It’s a sigh of relief when considering the worst-case scenarios in an elbow-fearing pitching climate; it’s well-known that ligament injuries can result in 12-18 month absences. Goody’s a vital part of a Tribe bullpen that’s recently shuffled through a few low-upside relievers; they’ve designated both Matt Belisle and Jeff Beliveau for assignment in the past week and before that lost Andrew Miller to the DL with a hamstring injury.
    • Jeffrey Flanagan of tells readers about the plate discipline improvements made by Royals outfielder Jorge Soler. In stark contrast to last season, he’s already drawn 18 walks and has seen 4.46 pitches per plate appearance. His .309/.429/.526 slash line on the season is exactly what Kansas City envisioned when they acquired him from the Cubs prior to last season in exchange for closer Wade Davis. Manager Ned Yost credits the improvements to the fact that Soler is “not chasing much of anything”, though it’s certainly worth noting that his chase rate this year is in line with his typically low figures the past few seasons and therefore not indicative of any major changes. I’d add, though, that Soler is certainly seeing more pitches per plate appearance than he did during his injury-riddled 2017 campaign; he’s seen 4.26 PPPA so far, up from 3.99 last season.
    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[White Sox Select Dylan Covey’s Contract]]> 2018-04-28T22:11:52Z 2018-04-28T22:10:42Z The White Sox have selected the contract of right-hander Dylan Covey, whom they outrighted off their 40-man roster over the winter. Covey will start against the Royals tonight, and he’ll take fellow righty Gregory Infante’s place on the club’s 25-man roster. Infante’s headed to Triple-A Charlotte.

    Covey, 26, joined the Chicago organization as a Rule 5 pick from the Athletics in December 2016. He ended up spending nearly all of last season as a major leaguer with the White Sox, though he struggled to a 7.71 ERA/7.20 FIP with 5.27 K/9, 4.37 BB/9 and a 48.5 percent groundball rate across 70 innings (18 appearances, 12 starts).

    While Covey has posted a terrific 2.95 ERA and an outstanding 58.6 percent grounder rate in 21 1/3 innings (four starts) at the minors’ highest level this year, he managed less encouraging strikeout and walk rates before his promotion. Covey has logged 6.75 K/9 against 5.48 BB/9 thus far, helping lead to an ugly 5.15 FIP.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Minor MLB Transactions: 4/26/18]]> 2018-04-26T21:56:04Z 2018-04-26T21:56:04Z Here are Thursday’s minor moves from around the game…

    • The Pirates have traded minor league outfielder Todd Cunningham to the White Sox, per a club announcement. John Dreker of first broke news of the trade (via Twitter). The Bucs will receive a player to be named later in return. The 29-year-old Cunningham spent parts of three seasons in the Majors with the Braves (2013, 2015) and Angels (2016) but struggled to a .207/.256/.264 slash through 130 plate appearances. He’s off to a rough start in Triple-A this season but turned in an excellent .284/.404/.414 batting line in 358 plate appearances between the Cardinals’ and Dodgers’ top affiliates in 2017. In all, the 2010 second-round pick is a career .274/.356/.372 hitter in nearly 2200 Triple-A plate appearances.
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox Outright Casey Gillaspie]]> 2018-04-26T18:33:22Z 2018-04-26T18:33:22Z The White Sox have outrighted first baseman Casey Gillaspie, per a club announcement. That opens a spot on the 40-man roster that has yet to be filled.

    Gillaspie, a former first-round pick of the Rays back in 2014, was acquired last summer in the deal that sent Dan Jennings to Tampa Bay. The South Siders placed Gillaspie on the 40-man roster over the offseason to protect him from the Rule 5 draft.

    Since the start of 2017, however, the switch-hitting Gillaspie has mostly struggled. He is off to a miserable .214/.263/.229 start at the plate this year at Triple-A Charlotte, with 29 strikeouts and no home runs through 76 trips to the dish.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox Place Avisail Garcia On 10-Day DL, Promote Daniel Palka]]> 2018-04-25T02:36:26Z 2018-04-25T02:36:55Z 9:36pm: White Sox GM Rick Hahn classified the strain as “mild to moderate,” tweets Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago. While it seems that Garcia has at least avoided a significant injury, Hahn added that he’s not sure how much time Garcia can be expected to miss at present.

    11:21am: The White Sox have placed outfielder Avisail Garcia on the 10-day DL with a strained right hamstring, per a club announcement. He’ll be replaced by Daniel Palka, who gets his first call to the majors.

    Garcia, 26, left last night’s contest in visible pain, so it’s no surprise to see this placement. The severity of the strain is not yet known; his anticipated timeline could vary quite a lot depending upon the particulars.

    The time on the shelf will come after a brutal start to the season for Garcia, who is hitting just .233/.250/.315 and has yet to draw a walk in 76 plate appearances. That’s particularly disappointing after a 2017 season in which he had finally broken through with a .330/.380/.506 slash and 18 home runs after years of showing hints but never fully coming around.

    Last year’s output came with a caveat, to some extent, as Garcia rode a .392 batting average on balls in play. Though he has long fared well in that department, it was obviously an unsustainable level.

    That said, whatever good fortune he benefited from in 2017 has thus far been repayed with bad luck. Sustaining top-end production without drawing many walks will always be a challenge, but there ought to be some positive regression to come. Garcia has struck the ball well in 2018 despite the poor outcomes, with a .345 xwOBA that lags his actual .244 wOBA by a yawning margin.

    While the White Sox await Garcia’s return — hopefully, in time to present as a potential trade candidate this summer — they’ll take a look at Palka, who was claimed off waivers from the division-rival Twins last fall. He’s off to a good start at Triple-A, where he’s slashing .286/.384/.476 with three home runs over 73 trips to the plate.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[White Sox Place Miguel Gonzalez On 10-Day DL, Transfer Danny Farquhar To 60-Day DL]]> 2018-04-23T17:11:41Z 2018-04-23T17:11:41Z The White Sox announced on Monday that they’ve placed right-hander Miguel Gonzalez on the 10-day DL and selected the contract of right-hander Chris Beck from Triple-A Charotte. Right-hander Danny Farquhar, who was hospitalized over the weekend in a terrifying scene after collapsing in the dugout due to a brain aneurysm, has been moved from the 10-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list in order to open a roster spot for Beck.

    The health and well-being of Farquhar, at present, is the greatest concern in the otherwise small sequence of roster moves. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale wrote over the weekend that Farquhar is in stable but critical condition after undergoing multiple surgeries this weekend, adding that the right-hander will be hospitalized for at least the next three weeks following the career-threatening medical emergency.

    We pointed our readers to Nightengale’s column last night, but it’s well worth a look for those who have yet to read. It’s filled with quotes from current and former teammates of Farquhar and some harrowing details on the past 72 hours for a right-hander who, by all accounts, has been beloved in each clubhouse of which he’s been a part. I’ll echo sentiments from other members of the MLBTR staff in sending best wishes to Farquhar and his family as the baseball world hopes for a full recovery.

    Turning to the shorter-term roster moves in today’s announcement, Gonzalez will be out for at least the next week (the move is retroactive to April 19) due to inflammation in his right rotator cuff. The Sox didn’t provide any sort of timeline on his injury, though there’s no indication at present that the injury is serious.

    Beck, 27, will get another look with the ChiSox after previously being outrighted off the 40-man roster. A second-round pick back in 2012, he’s seen time in the Chicago bullpen in each of the past three seasons but never logged an ERA south of 6.00. Beck throws hard, averaging 95 mph on his fastball in 64 innings last year, but that hasn’t translated to much in terms of strikeouts in the Majors. In 96 big league frames, he has a meager 42-to-34 K/BB ratio. He’s off to a fast start in Triple-A this year, however, with just two runs allowed and a 13-to-3 K/BB ratio in nine innings pitched.