White Sox Minor Keys: July 25, 2021

Eloy Jimenez (Laura Wolff / Charlotte Knights)

If Tony La Russa didn’t tip the White Sox’s hand before the game, Eloy Jiménez’s absence from the Charlotte Knights’ lineup on Sunday would have done it for everybody.

Jiménez completed his rehab stint. If you were hoping that he’d leave no doubts about his readiness by his play, he instead left you wanted:


Instead, fans are left to hope two things:

No. 1: That Jiménez treated his rehab stint like a veteran hitter treats spring training, with results taking a back seat to getting his body ready for the season.

No. 2: That being in Chicago means he’ll be playing left field less often.

Durham 15, Charlotte 9

  • Jake Lamb went 0-for-3 with two walks.
  • Blake Rutherford, 2-for-4 with a homer, walk and strikeout.
  • Yermín Mercedes went 3-for-5 with a homer and a strikeout.
  • Micker Adolfo homered twice and struck out once during a 3-for-5 night.
  • Ti’Quan Forbes went 1-for-4 with a double, HBP and two strikeouts.
  • Jonathan Stiever: 3.2 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 4 BB, 5 K, 3 WP
  • Bennett Sousa: 1.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 1 WP


*Mercedes’ homer came on a fastball, although I can’t find a radar-gun reading on this one.

*Adolfo’s blasts:

Birmingham 11, Chattanooga 6

  • Romy Gonzalez went 1-for-3 with a double and two walks.
  • Carlos Pérez was 1-for-4 with a double, sac fly and a strikeout.
  • Konnor Pilkington: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K

Jersey Shore 12, Winston-Salem 8

  • Lenyn Sosa went 1-for-5.
  • Yoelqui Céspedes went 1-for-5 with a double and a strikeout.
  • Luis Robert was 1-for-4 with a double and two strikeouts.
  • Luis Curbelo is up to 15 homers after going 1-for-5 with a strikeout.
  • Bailey Horn: 3 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 HR

Fayetteville 2, Kannapolis 0

  • Jose Rodriguez went 0-for-4 with a strikeout.
  • Bryan Ramos and Luis Mieses both were 0-for-3 with a walk.
  • Harvin Mendoza went 1-for-3 with a strikeout.
  • Caberea Weaver was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.
  • Chase Krogman struck out all three times up.
  • A triumph for Matthew Thompson: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 38 of 57 pitches for strikes.

(Photo by Laura Wolff / Charlotte Knights)

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As Cirensica

Yermin’s bat is on fire. I wonder for how long can the White Sox ignore that while we carry Zack Collins as “catcher” while we wait for Grandal. The amount of strike Collins hemorrhaged this weekend was not healthy. Can Yermin do any worse? I have to wonder.

The only game we won this weekend was the game Zabala caught. That has to carry a message if you ask me.


If only Yermin could catch well enough. I hear you, yet I think if they thought highly enough about his catching, he would have gotten opportunities when he was up. He just seems like a guy without a position.

I read something about them having interest in Lucroy a few days ago, who got cut by the Braves. I know not a great answer, but he has to be better behind the plate than Collins, and he is surely a better hitter than Zabala. He might be their best backup option when Grandal returns, for the remainder of the season.

As Cirensica

I just don’t think, or at least there is not a lot evidence, to suggest Yermin will be a worst catcher than Collins. You say Yermin might not be able to catch well enough, but the point is that Collins neither.

Last edited 2 years ago by As Cirensica

Collins may be “not good” defensively but there is a large abyss below that that Yermin can exist in. I don’t hear anyone banging on the table for Tim Beckham to get a shot at 2B (once healthy) even though he can play the position and is currently running a 124 wRC+ in Charlotte.


Sox could have claimed Lucroy, but he cleared waivers


Can Yermin do any worse? I have to wonder.

In the 10 games he’s caught in Charlotte since he went down, he has 7 passed balls and nailed only 2 out of 12 attempted base stealers.


Yeah, I wish that were not the case, but that is the answer. Yes, he is worse than Collins behind the plate, or they would have given him some chances back there. Unfortunate.

As Cirensica

Yes, he is worse than Collins behind the plate

Is he though? I am not that sure. Did you see this weekend games?


I don’t have to. If the White Sox, or any other team for that matter, thought that Mercedes could even remotely catch and his current numbers in AAA were worth a damn, he would either be on the major league roster or a pretty damn valuable trade piece. Based on the fact that he is not on the major league roster and has not even been hinted at in trade rumors, I’m going to go with the league consensus on the fact that he is, in fact, significantly worse than Collins defensively.


It’s never good to ask the question “how much worse can it get”. Collins has 3 passed balls in 40 games. At AAA Mercedes has 7 in 10 games, and 51 in his minor league career of roughly 160 games. Collins may be bad defensively, but Mercedes is clearly much worse. If they were even close, I cannot believe it would not have occured to the Sox to give Yermin some playing time behind the plate the first two months.


Did not see too much of the games, but per the other posters trust that if there was any possibility Yermin could catch, the Sox would not overlook that. Beating a dead horse at this point, Yermin is not relevant to their catching discussion in 2021 at least.


I watched all three games. Collins didn’t lose the game on Friday or Saturday. The bullpen and lack of hitting lost those games. I could add TLR on Friday for his insistence on going and sticking with Bummer. Collins was 1 for 2 on Friday at the plate with an intentional walk. Giolito was great for six innings that Collins was catching him. Saturday he was 0-2 with a walk and rbi. Remember, he’s batting 8th so pitchers aren’t looking to give him great pitches. He had two errors. One was his as he threw a ball to 2nd from his knees that anderson backed away from and let go into center. The other one was a bunt that Garcia let go through his arms while trying to figure out how to cover 1B. In both games the sox scored once and that was due to great Brewer pitching.

As Cirensica

I get it. Yermin will be a bad catcher, but so is Collins. Collins is just awful defensively. And now that Collins is playing more, his bat is exposed, and he is not hitting. At this juncture, I think the White Sox might be better off with Zabala as main catcher, and Collins as back-up. Yermin’s numbers in the minors are very good.


Are you serious with this Collins = bad at catching and Mercedes = bad at catching so their catching is the same. Collins is normal major league bad. Mercedes has allowed almost 2X more passed balls in 2 weeks than Collins has in his major league career.

Mercedes is standard deviations worse than Collins. Just because his bad catching didn’t happen in Chicago doesn’t mean it is somehow uncertain.


I’ve decided that Yermin is one of those topics – like politics or religion – that should be avoided in mixed company.

I do generally think that a team with two flawed catchers should at least be willing to consider the alternatives.

Also, given that the Sox are mostly in win-now mode and may be about to trade for veteran rentals, the fact that he is 28 seems to play a surprisingly big role in people’s opinions of him.

Furthermore, in a community in which most comments tend to focus on what decisions could or should be made by the actual people who have baseball jobs working for the team, the idea that we need to be so deferential to the past determinations by this and other front offices and managers about him seems a little strange.

But where was I? Oh yeah, I generally choose not to talk about Yermin because it never goes well.


What exactly should the Sox do differently? Yermin is getting a chance to show he can catch in AAA and the results are that he decidedly cannot. At the major league level, he has shown that he can get hot for a period of time but Yermin was a net negative on the base paths and mediocre at the plate. Meanwhile, Collins is mediocre on the base paths and just as mediocre at the plate but has a less disatrous skill set behind the plate. If there was any inclination that Mercedes could cut it behind the plate, he would have gotten that opportunity already whether it was here or on another team. The fact that he hasn’t should tell you and everyone else all you need to know about that particular alternative. If your argument is that we should be looking at the trade/waiver market for another catcher to pair with Grandal when he’s back, I’m all ears but I get the feeling every team is in the same boat so pickings are slim unless you pony up.

So yeah, I guess Yermin is like politics/religion. Everyone has an opinion on him and will dig in till hell or high water on that opinion. (feel free to remove this entire comment if these last two sentences cross a line).

Last edited 2 years ago by texag10

For what it’s worth, I’ve made 2 suggestions/observations re Mercedes:

1. When he was with the Sox, I argued that we should get to see him catch for more than what turned out to be 2 innings. So that fans and coaches could see it personally. For a fan base that was so convinced that Andrew Vaughn was a bad fielder, it seems like one lesson of 2021 is that sometimes players surprise us.

2. I’ve wondered why we’re so sure that Mercedes glove is so much worse than Zavala’s bat. I think he is wondering that too. He may be an unstable jerk, but he may also be wondering why he didn’t get a fair opportunity to prove that he could catch. And given that all he got at the major league level was two innings and is now stuck in the minors behind two guys on the Sox major league roster who can probably be described as “below average at everything” and “a horrible hitter” it would be reasonable for him to feel frustrated.

But as I said, I don’t talk about Yermin Mercedes.

Last edited 2 years ago by soxygen

I’ve wondered why we’re so sure that Mercedes glove is so much worse than Zavala’s bat.” – He has literally caught hundreds of minor leagues games.

This isn’t like Vaughn where he had never played OF and was asked to play what is widely regarded as the second easiest position is the field. There is uncertainty due to a lack of information. Mercedes has tried and been evaluated.


Seby has also failed to hit in the minors, so there’s that pesky other side of the equation again. Again, I’m just confused about why people are so sure that Seby’s hitting is better than Mercedes’ catching.

Last edited 2 years ago by soxygen
As Cirensica

Meanwhile, Collins is mediocre on the base paths and just as mediocre at the plate but has a less disatrous skill set behind the plate. 

That’s where I disagree. In your sentence above, I would just delete the word “less” from “…but has a less disastrous skill set behind the plate…” Collins is Dioner bad (probably worse). Collins is currently worth -5.4 runs in framing and -0.5 WARP value. He makes our pitching staff works harder.

I get we can keep Collins up, but at this juncture, he should be relegated to back-up duties with Zavala being the main catcher until we get back Yaz.


Yermin has played 10 years of professional baseball and for 3 different organizations. All three of those teams don’t think he’s a catcher. 2 of those teams didn’t view him as a catcher long-term so they got rid of him and 1 team has an opening at catcher and deemed he was so bad there that they won’t give him a shot.

Not to mention there are 29 other MLB teams that could trade for him to catch if they thought he could do it at even a below average level. I think it’s safe to say Mercedes is unplayable at Catcher in the MLB.


Are the dimensions at DUR as hitter friendly as CLT?

– Edit – lol, just saw the reel , so I take that question back 🙂

Last edited 2 years ago by Amar

57 pitches does not seem like much for Matt Thompson at this stage in his development.

Greg Nix

Looks like he’s been capped around 60 since he got hurt. Was at 75-80 before that.


I saw on the Future Sox draft tracker that the White Sox reportedly have signed all 20 draft picks. I didn’t add up the amounts, but eyeballing it it looked to me like they pretty much spent the maximum amount allowed without getting draft pick penalties in future drafts. They also gave every 11-20 pick at least the full $125K they could give without it counting against their pool. So all told I think 15 of their 20 picks got at least six figures.

This combined with the fact that they have more scouts hired than most teams suggests that they are not going cheap on the draft.

Last edited 2 years ago by jorgefabregas