CHICAGO — Last November at the general manager’s meetings in Las Vegas, it was White Sox general manager Rick Hahn who suggested rookie Oscar Colas be the team’s leading candidate in 2023. Another veteran to vie for the spot, Colas won the job handily. in spring.
For his second full month start of the season, Colás was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte on Tuesday amid a 5-for-40 slump that dropped his hitting streak to 0.211/.265/.276. Likewise slated for a place on the Opening Day roster throughout spring training, seasoned veteran Jake Dickman — the only return from last year’s trade deadline who has been regularly named the club leader by Hahn — is up for the task. They were part of 11 roster moves announced before the White Sox began a three-game home series with the first-place Minnesota Twins.
“His board system wasn’t quite up to the major league level at this particular time,” coach Pedro Grifoll said of Colas on Tuesday. “He wasn’t producing the way we expected him to and it’s happening. That’s a tough level to play at. Some guys come in here and produce right away, some don’t. Some guys need to step back and keep improving.”
With the advantage of performing on the field, these moves aren’t surprising. Colas’s struggle on both sides of the ball led to more playing time in the field due to the wandering of left-handed batsman Gavin Sheets, who now pitched more right-handed in his heels. Neither in action at the end of last season nor in April, Dickman compiled a 7.04 ERA in a White Sox uniform. But they represent how far the Sox have turned 8-21 from Plan A in the space of a month.
“The fighting never stopped,” Grifoll said of his team. “The energy never stopped, the action never stopped, and that was really impressive to me. It’s hard to go through a streak like that where there’s no disappointment in this particular ending. So I was really happy about that. The core aspect of it, I’m not happy.” I don’t think anyone’s happy here man. Control of the running game, I’m not happy about that. Slashers and relays, I’m not happy about that. Runners in the scoring position, not happy with that. We don’t control the strike zone. Those are things we have to clean up if we win. Constantly here and we’ll clean it up.”
The White Sox relievers’ 6.86 collegiate ERA is currently the worst mark of any such combination in the sport. Dickman’s departure and Joe Kelly going on paternity leave allowed the White Sox to call up two new relief options from Charlotte: 24-year-old Sammy Peralta and veteran right-hand man Alexander Cullum.
Peralta, with a 3.52 ERA and a 15-to-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio in Charlotte, made his major league debut after a non-roster call-up and impressed with his change-up in spring camp. Colomé, 34, was reliable, if not outclassed by the Sox in 2019 and 2020, but has since struggled in several other major league stops. He was available on a minor league deal after spending spring training with the Washington Nationals, and his cutter served him well enough in the squad box the Knights’ home field. Colomé allowed two runs in eight innings at Triple A.
The return of Tim Anderson and Hanser Alberto from injury rehab duties in Charlotte was set to provide some change on the court. Anderson’s return to shortstop and leading duties after a sprained knee would push Elvis Andrus, who has played all 29 of the team’s games to date, to second base. Lenin Sosa was optioned back to Charlotte, where veteran Alberto would fill the backup outfield role. Alberto is used to staying poised amid his spare playing time, while Sosa, 23, is an prospect with a real future who needs regular racquets to continue developing. Also, Sosa hit . 151/. 167/. 245 in 54 trips to the plate with some notable defensive errors during the final series against the Rays.
“I’m just one guy,” Anderson said. “We’ve got time to catch up. I think that’s enough. Just try to bring the positive energy and have fun. I’m sure the fans don’t want to keep hearing me say the same words -. Hopefully we go out and try to get some wins.”
With Alberto back and Adam Haseli shining four days into Sunday’s comeback win, Romy Gonzalez will look more difficult to get chances than he already was until April, but he was placed on the 10-day injured list with a sore right shoulder. , initially due to a diving catch in left field. Added to the 40-man roster and called up, Billy Hamilton could fill a defensive replacement/pinch runner role that looks like it won’t take a lot of batters.
Same thing nowadays, come in the late innings and run, play defense and whatever they want me to do,” said Hamilton, who notes that he refused to practice pulling out when he was originally sent to Triple A. So I already know what the plan is. (Grifol) didn’t have to say much.”
At Hamilton, Colomi, and Peralta, the White Sox added three players to their 40-man roster. They outlasted AJ Alexy over the weekend, while Diekman’s departure cleared another spot, and offseason trade acquisition Franklin German was set for assignment. Acquired by Boston in February when they also assigned a German for assignment to vacate a 40-man spot, the White Sox were opportunistic in taking on a young right-handed reliever with some potential.
But now the German is struggling for control in Charlotte too much to capitalize on, a major league team is flopping, and here we are recounting how 11 roster-wide moves were necessary in one day.
“They weren’t meant to rock the team,” Grifoll replied. “They were just meant to make us better.”
(Oscar Colas top photo: Kim Clement/USA Today)