The final game of the Cactus League season is getting underway, but the White Sox are already firming up their roster.
It starts with the pitching staff, where the Sox announced their season-opening bullpen to the bubble candidates, and the bubble candidates to reporters:
The first four were a given as long as they were healthy. The back half — or front half, if you’re talking about in-game strategy — is a fairly straightforward meritocracy, at least from the right side.
*Burr was the team’s most effective reliever in Cactus League play, striking out 15 with zero walks over 10⅓ innings. He allowed just nine hits and kept the ball in the yard.
*Covey gives the Sox a multi-inning reliever from the right side. He sinker looked on point, allowing just 12 baserunners over 11 innings, but he probably won’t be counted upon to miss bats (four strikeouts).
*Frare got off to a terrible start — 16.20 ERA with more walks than strikeouts over his first three outings — but he calmed down over the course of March and aced three consecutive LOOGY-like appearances to end his spring.
*Banuelos makes it back to the majors after seven games with the Atlanta Braves in 2015, likely taking the Hector Santiago role to open the season. His lack of options — and the Sox lack of extra starters — forced the Sox’ hand a little, but he showed enough over five starts to deserve the swingman role.
Banuelos in the bullpen means Ervin Santana will join the team as the fifth starter, but Santana won’t break camp with the team. The Sox don’t need a fifth starter until April 10 at the earliest, so they’ll take advantage of his minor-league contract and carry an extra bench player until the rotation needs to be filled out in earnest.
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If you want to treat this post as a First Pitch:
Broadcast: NBC Sports Chicago
So who goes to the DL for Eloy?
Maybe Jay, with the hip issues?
Delmonico, with concussion issues?
Engel, with “rag arm”?
Can they DL Santana to make room for Eloy?
He’s not on the 40-man roster, so I don’t know if they could add him just to IL him (it’s the IL now!), even with a day of wiggle room.
Is Herrera officially on the active roster to start the season, or is this announcement a precursor to IL’ing him and giving Eloy the 25-man roster spot?
On the team website he is active. 13 pitchers, no Eloy. He had spring innings so he is probably good to go. As the poster below indicates, Hamilton is probably the IL candidate (and I hate IL because it means International League to me).
I keep reading it as Illinois
I think Hamilton will start on the DL so maybe he is who they use to get Eloy on the active roster
I’ve only seen bits and pieces of the spring games but IMO, Nate Jones hasn’t shown me nearly enough to give me confidence in this season. Looks like he’s a case where his salary earns him a bullpen spot instead of his performance. I’m trying to like the 2019 W Sox, but I want to see the best 25 on opening day.