As we follow two ALDS Game 1s -- Boston at Houston and New York at Cleveland -- on this Thursday afternoon and early evening, there are some White Sox roster moves to report.
The Sox outrighted catcher Rob Brantly, outfielder Rymer Liriano and pitchers David Holmberg, Brad Goldberg and Chris Volstad to Triple-A Charlotte.
Goldberg remains in the organization as a non-roster player, because this is the first time he has been outrighted. Brantly, Liriano, Holmberg and Volstad elected free agency.
The moves reduce the Sox's 40-man roster to 33. There are three guys on the 60-day DL -- Charlie Tilson, Zach Putnam and Geovany Soto. After those three men are activated, the roster moves to 36, then reduces to 34, because Soto and Mike Pelfrey are free agents-to-be.
That leaves six spots open for the Sox to protect players from the Rule 5 draft, although it's possible we'll see more roster dreck purged in the coming weeks.
Thursday, October 5, 2017
Thursday, March 30, 2017
|Cody Asche -- will he make the Sox's roster?|
They won't finalize their 25-man roster for Opening Day until Sunday, but from the looks of things, 23 of the spots are set.
Barring some sort of trade or last-minute acquisition, this will be the 12-man pitching staff:
Starters: Jose Quintana, Miguel Gonzalez, James Shields, Derek Holland, Dylan Covey
Relievers: David Robertson, Nate Jones, Dan Jennings, Jake Petricka, Zach Putnam, Michael Ynoa, Anthony Swarzak
Covey, a Rule 5 draft pick, takes the rotation spot of Carlos Rodon, who will begin the season on the 15-day disabled list. Relief pitching prospect Zack Burdi led the team with 17 strikeouts in 12 Cactus League innings, but he said Wednesday he will begin the season in Triple-A Charlotte.
Burdi probably would have made the club had Robertson been traded, but the Sox already have enough right-handers to work in short relief. They needed to keep a couple guys who could throw multiple innings at a time out of the bullpen, because Quintana is the only starting pitcher who can be trusted to get into the seventh inning consistently.
Ynoa, who is out of options, and Swarzak, a veteran with starting experience, are two pitchers who can eat innings on a day where a starter doesn't make it past the fifth inning -- and there likely will be a few of those for the Sox this season.
The Sox decided against keeping a second left-hander in the bullpen, as I thought they might, even though Cory Luebke did all he could to make the club -- a 0.96 ERA in 9.1 spring innings.
Among position players, I'm seeing 11 roster locks for the 13 spots:
Catchers: Omar Narvaez, Geovany Soto
Infielders: Jose Abreu, Todd Frazier, Tim Anderson, Tyler Saladino, Yolmer Sanchez
Outfielders: Melky Cabrera, Avisail Garcia, Jacob May
Utility: Leury Garcia
That leaves Matt Davidson, Cody Asche and Rymer Liriano on the bubble for the final two spots.
Davidson was in line for an extended look at the end of last season, but then he broke his foot running the bases in his first game after being called up to the Sox. He entered camp as a good bet to make the roster, because he's out of options and a lot has been invested in his development.
For those reasons, he still may make the club, but 25 strikeouts in 63 spring plate appearances isn't what the Sox were hoping to see from him this spring, I'm sure. He did hit three home runs and posted a .764 OPS.
Asche struck out 17 times in 52 plate appearances, too, but he was more productive than most, posting a .310/.453/.714 slash line with four home runs, nine RBIs, five doubles and a team-high 10 walks. Asche hits left-handed, which could put him at an advantage.
Liriano fanned 22 times in 53 plate appearances and slashed .170/.264/.340. Hard to see him making the club after that, and he seems to be a better bet to sneak through waivers than Davidson or Asche, but apparently he's still under consideration for a roster spot.
Saturday, October 29, 2016
1. Right fielder Adam Eaton has been named a finalist for the American League Gold Glove Award. Eaton led major-league outfielders with 18 assists and was second to Boston's Mookie Betts with 22 defensive runs saved.
Eaton is trying to become the first Sox player to win a Gold Glove since pitcher Jake Peavy won the honor in 2012. The last Sox position player to win a Gold Glove was third baseman Robin Ventura in 1998.
Eaton was a finalist for the award as a center fielder in 2014. The other finalists among right fielders this year are Betts and Houston's George Springer.
Consider Betts the favorite, since he also had a big offensive season (yeah, I know it shouldn't matter, but it does) and plays in Boston.
2. No surprise: Pitcher James Shields will opt in for the final two years of his contract, according to reports.
Shields, who will turn 35 in December, is coming off a terrible season in which he posted a 6-19 record with a 5.85 ERA. After being traded to the American League, his ERA swelled to 6.77 in 22 starts with the Sox, during which he went 4-12.
The right-hander is owed $21 million for each of the next two seasons, although the San Diego Padres are on the hook for $11 million in both 2017 and 2018. That means the Sox will play Shields $10 million next year and the year after that.
There is a $16 million club option for 2019 on Shields, with a $2 million buyout, if he somehow manages to hold his roster spot for that long. The Sox would be on the hook for the buyout.
Great trade, huh?
3. The Sox claimed outfielder Rymer Liriano off waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers.
Liriano, 25, was once a top-100 prospect in the San Diego system, but his skills have never translated to the big-league level.
He made it to the bigs with the Padres in 2014, but couldn't stick, hitting .220 with a .555 OPS in 121 plate appearances in 38 games.
Liriano missed the entire 2016 season after being struck in the face by pitched ball in spring training. The move brings the Sox's 40-man roster back up to 40 players, but this acquisition is for nothing more than organizational depth.