The White Sox on Sunday signed pitcher Miguel Gonzalez to a minor league deal.
Gonzalez, 31, has a career record of 39-33 with a 3.82 ERA. However, he is coming off a bad season with the Baltimore Orioles. He went 9-12 with a 4.91 ERA in 26 starts in 2015. His fastball averaged about 92 mph last season, but reports indicate he never topped 90 mph this spring. The Orioles decided they had seen enough and released him Friday.
The Sox will send him to Charlotte and hope he regains his lost velocity. This also is a sign the team might not be as confident in Mat Latos as they are claiming to be. Latos pitched four shutout innings in a 5-3 Sox exhibition win over the San Diego Padres on Friday, but he once again ran out of gas in the fifth -- allowing three runs.
Gonzalez could be another stopgap option if Latos falters.
The Sox also finalized their 25-man roster by reassigning pitcher Phillippe Aumont, first baseman Travis Ishikawa, center fielder Jacob May and catcher Hector Sanchez to minor league camp.
That means outfielder Jerry Sands surprisingly made the club. I was not overly impressed by Sands in spring training -- he posted a .212/.263/.404 slash line with three home runs and 11 RBIs in 52 at-bats.
Sands historically cannot hit right-handers, but the Sox apparently like his .292 career batting average and .846 career OPS against left-handed pitchers. The South Siders were woeful offensively against lefties in 2015, posting a .645 team OPS. Management must believe Sands can help improve that figure.