On Wednesday, the White Sox trimmed the Spring Training roster down further. The club re-assigned 11 players to Minor League camp. With the cuts, 49 players stick around big-league camp a little longer. Among those 49 are 25 pitchers, five catchers, eight outfielders and 11 infielders.
ZAVALA DECISION COULD ANSWER QUESTIONS
The re-assigning of Seby Zavala to Triple-A Charlotte could be the move that foreshadows any chance for Zack Collins or Yermin Mercedes to make the big league club. As our Ken Sawilchik outlined on Monday, there was a distinct feeling coming from White Sox camp that both Collins and Mercedes would be re-assigned to Charlotte. This would leave little to no room for Zavala in the organization.
By removing the 26-year old from big league camp and placing him in Triple-A, the Sox may be signaling that there is a non-zero chance that either Collins or Mercedes is still firmly in the running for a spot as the 26th man in Chicago. Zavala was the only player from this round of cuts assigned to Charlotte.
OUTFIELDERS BACK TO BIRMINGHAM; BURDI, FLORES JOIN THEM
Five players were assigned to Double-A Birmingham today. Outfielders Micker Adolfo, Blake Rutherford and Luis Alexander Basabe will redo the level for (part of) 2020. Pitchers Zack Burdi and Bernardo Flores are hopping on the same plane to Alabama, though neither is expected to play in the Southern League for long.
For Rutherford and Basabe, the assignment marks a straight do-over, as both assembled several hundred at-bats with the team last year (438 and 256 respectively).
Despite not having much to show for statistically, both had good springs. Still only 22 years old, Rutherford seemed to hit the ball hard every time he was up to bat, despite only OPS’ing .385 on the spring. The Sox may be hoping he takes his new and improved approach (and hard contact) to Birmingham. Basabe hit .267 in limited action, with a .656 OPS. He is looking to stay healthy before Charlotte becomes part of the equation.
Adolfo received a mere 76 at-bats in Birmingham last year after recovering from Tommy John surgery. His Spring Training showed that he may need some more time to catch up to game speed. In all likelihood, he’ll be a full-time outfielder for the Barons alongside the also 23-year-old Basabe.
For Burdi and Flores, both 24 years old, the assignment to Double-A may not be a long one. Burdi has looked especially good during Spring Training, pitching 4.0 innings, striking out four and only walking one. For him, Birmingham may be nothing more than a tune-up stint to get up to speed for Charlotte or Chicago. Flores struggled in Arizona, giving up seven runs (four earned) in just 3.0 innings pitched (one start). Still, if he regains his 2019 Double-A form, the Sox may be looking to move him up a level at some point this season as well.
MINOR LEAGUE CAMP
On top of the six previously discussed players, the White Sox re-assigned five pitchers to minor league camp. Right-handers Tayron Guerrero and Bryan Mitchell join left-handers Caleb Frare, Kodi Medeiros and Matt Tomshaw on the list.
Of the five, Frare had by far the roughest spring, ranking only ahead of Alex Colomé in highest ERA. Though he wil likely be assigned to Triple-A Charlotte, the 26-year old did not do himself any spring favors in his quest to return to the big leagues. The remaining four pitchers are all expected to be assigned to Charlotte at some point, as the Knights are running severely low on pitchers to begin with.
FutureSox has already learned about several other upcoming assignments, which have not yet been announced. Patreon subscribers will be able to receive a sneak peek later today.
Photo credit: Sean Williams/FutureSox