White Sox Minor Keys: July 27, 2022

Oscar Colás took his sacking of Southern League pitching to a new level on Wednesday night. Having come just short of a 2.000 OPS in six games against the Rocket City Trash Pandas last week, Colás took a quick breather against the Tennessee Smokies on Tuesday before resuming his rampage.

The damage: 4-for-5 with two more homers, coming in consecutive plate appearances.

One of the things that jumped out to me with regards to Colás when I first saw him with the Dash against Bowling Green was the way he stayed on left-handed pitching. He entered the game hitting .400/.467/.575 in 45 plate appearances against lefties between Birmingham and Winston-Salem, and with just seven strikeouts.

The only thing that had been missing was a long ball, as all 10 of his homers had come against righties, albeit in a sample size five times as large. Now that particular gap is 11-to-1, and if he wants to keep providing evidence as to why the White Sox should hold onto him for the time being, I support that venture.

Nashville 12, Charlotte 5

  • Jake Burger played for the first time since July 5 and went 0-for-4 with a walk.
  • Lenyn Sosa was 1-for-4 with a double and two strikeouts.
  • Carlos Pérez, 1-for-4 with a homer and a strikeout.
  • Adam Haseley was 0-for-3 with a walk.
  • Yolbert Sánchez, 1-for-4 with a homer, strikeout and stolen base.
  • Tyler Neslony wore the collar and silver sombrero.

Birmingham 8, Tennessee 3

  • José Rodríguez went 1-for-4 with a walk, strikeout and three stolen bases.
  • Oscar Colas homered twice during a 4-for-5 night.
  • Yoelqui Céspedes, 1-for-5 with two strikeouts.

Greensboro 19, Winston-Salem 5

  • Colson Montgomery went 2-for-4 with a walk.
  • Bryan Ramos, 1-for-4 with a strikeout.
  • Luis Mieses was 1-for-3 with a strikeout and an HBP.
  • Luke Shilling opened in his return from rehabbing: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 13 of 27 pitches for strikes.

Columbia 8, Kannapolis 3

  • Wes Kath went 1-for-4 with a strikeout.
  • Wilfred Veras, 0-for-3 with a sac fly and a K.
  • DJ Gladney was 1-for-4 with a triple.
  • Kohl Simas: 3 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
  • Lane Ramsey, moving on up in his rehab stint: 1 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

DSL White Sox 3, DSL Blue Jays 0 (7 innings)

  • Ryan Burrowes went 0-for-3.
  • Erick Hernandez, 1-for-2 with a double and an HBP.
  • Loidel Chapelli was 1-for-2 with a triple and a walk.
  • Carlos Jimenez went 0-for-3.
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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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dwjm3

Going to be interesting to see how long they keep Colas at AA….He certainly doesn’t seem the slightest fooled by AA pitching.

SocksO’Graham

Call up Colas now.

andyfaust

so that’s why they call you fast eddie…

knoxfire30

Was thinking the same thing about Colas seems really solid in his at bats vs lefties. The power is legit, that first homer got out in a heart beat, just a frozen rope, then the big fly homer to center really impressive stuff.

HallofFrank

It’s so refreshing to see Sox prospects mash in the minors. But since I’m a Sox fan, I’m trained to see the dark side of everything. How would you all feel if, assuming the successes keep up, the Sox decided not to sign a 2B or RF and go with Sosa/Rodriguez at 2B and Colas in RF?

knoxfire30

To me the whitesox have 1 outfielder right now, Luis Robert. Until Eloy proves his health and the ability to play the outfield with out incident the sox should operate under this same premise. On top of that, having prospects pushing their way to the majors at a position already filled by a good mlb player is a problem I would love for them to have once in my lifetime. The organization will have plenty of holes to fill in the future rotation and at C. If you sign a stud OF and colas is tearing it up maybe he becomes a piece in a deal for a C or 2nd basemen, you just never know.

dwjm3

This is essentially what the Dodgers do. They sign tier 1 free agents even though they have guys knocking at the door. They then have quality depth if a guy gets hurt or the trade capital to add a needed piece.

dongutteridge

What was that phrase? “Quality depth”, you say?

Sounds like something against Reinsdorf’s principles.

dwjm3

I just chuckled as I read this post because I was thinking this last night. We need a legit free agent this offseason who will fill one of these positions with as close to guaranteed production as you can get. We can’t afford to wing it and hope for the best. Instead Hahn will promote Sosa and Colas and state we got to let the kids play.

knoxfire30

Imagine the sox being able to actually sign a top tier player to fill a need, you could then move some of your prospects more freely in a trade or even add in some of your redundant pieces off the mlb roster to a deal.

This offseason we will hear the names on the trade market again and again Ketel Marte, Jazz Chisholm, Bryan Reynolds… all guys that would fit the sox extremely well but if you dont sign enough talent to the mlb roster you can expect a bottom 5 farm system to be used to acquire these types of players.

soxygen

If they re-allocated some assets, assembled a team of competent defenders, and used the money saved on a multi-year mid to top of rotation starter…then I would be OK with that.

knoxfire30

They need a shakeup move, if they are going to resign abreu and I dont see how that doesnt happen, then probably at least 2 of the group Eloy, Vaughn, Burger, Sheets need to be moved elsewhere for some other piece… and sheets is teetering on being worth next to nothing so… its really just the sox stomach of a sell low on eloy, moving their best future hitter vaughn, or seeing if burger can fetch much of anything… not exactly a great spot to be in

mrridgman

I’m with parts of both of you. They’ll know more about Colas by the end of the year, but if his missle continues to point up, I wouldn’t be opposed to him being the primary RF answer next year; and for God’s sake, don’t trade him unless they are acquiring a significant add (not a reliever, not Happ). 2b I’m less sure, although Harrison has been OK for a while – his defense is pretty good in any event. Sosa is probably 2024. Per Soxygen, I’d concentrate resources on a 1-2 starter who isn’t 34 yo.
They need to clear the too-slow-to-play-the-outfield logjam over the winter as well. If that includes Eloy then they may need a second outfielder (althou it wouldn’t bother me to see Pollock reach his norm OPS and stay another year – but I guess if he did, he’d opt out).

soxygen

I agree – I think they will re-sign Abreu.

And as good as Abreu is, I don’t think that is the right approach. If you move Abreu and replace him with Vaughn you are probably losing 1 win in 1B offense, more or less neutral in 1B defense, and presumably improving RF defense. And you’ve made it easier to play Grandal at DH or 1B if that is what his knees need.

And if you are cost conscious team that is running an all-time high payroll, that’s the kind of move you have to make. On this budget we can’t afford nostalgia. Don’t re-sign Abreu and there is $18M plus that can be spent on starting pitching or some other need.

The alternatives are harder because they involve getting good trade value back for guys who have significant injury histories and recent performance issues.

andyfaust

I do not envy being in the position to decide who gets the starts at 1B next season. How do you not re-sign the team leader and most offensively productive guy who absolutely wants to be there and has proven to his naysayers (me) that he deserves it? Vaughn has also shown to be talented offensively and will almost certainly improve even more and is under cheap control 4 more years beyond this season. Then you have the added complication of Eloy and Grandal. They could both be everyday DH’s on several clubs but neither have much value right now, so to me that makes it even harder to justify carrying both Abreu and Vaughn next season.

If they moved on from Abreu, they’d presumably have more money to get pitching or fill other holes as you mentioned. Conversely if they signed him for another 1-2 years (seems like the Reinsdorf modus operandi), I think you’d be pretty dumb not to trade Vaughn, who unlike everyone else i’ve mentioned does have considerable trade value. A case can be made for either one.

soxygen

Agree with so much of that…the only thing I’d add is that is partly about 1B and partly about payroll. If the Sox decide to re-sign Abreu (which in the scorpion and frog parable kind of way…this is what we need to expect them to do because it is in their nature) then they probably need to trade Grandal or Eloy. If they re-sign Abreu, keep Grandal & Eloy, but trade Vaughn…we basically will have this year’s team but older, and unless payroll can increase we’d need to be trading Vaughn for prospects rather than, say, a starting pitcher who would also need to be paid a major league appropriate salary.

Last edited 4 months ago by soxygen
andyfaust

it’ a huge shit sandwich and we’re all gonna have to take a bite…

Yeah, you’re right though. Lots of not so exciting options. But I will stand by my earlier assessment that if Grandal and Jimenez remain next year (very likely imo), it would be a bad idea to have both Vaughn and Abreu.

soxygen

Agreed. I think in this scenario (assuming current budget) a reasonably likely outcome is that our 5th & 6th starters would be Lambert and DMart.

upnorthsox

I don’t see it as a particularly bad idea, it would just need to be done with the understanding that Jose is coming back as the DH. Otherwise we move on. Picking a 36 yr old over a cost controlled 24 yr old because of…. feelings would be the shit show

metasox

Resigning Abreu also assumes he wants to come back. Especially if the Sox miss the post-season, I could see him looking to move on, despite anything he may have said in the past.

a-t

lol I don’t think that is something to worry about

metasox

Which part?

Qubort

Unless Abreu is taking a sweetheart deal, I would not be resigning him. Vaughn should be the 1st baseman in 2023 and moving forward. Sheets and Burger shouldn’t enter any equation in the major league plans. As you noted you’d probably be selling low on Eloy and you currently don’t have 3 outfielders. I’m all for shaking things up in the offseason, but I don’t think it’s necessary.

JimMargalusBiggestFan

Bringing guys up is not depth. Bringing up guys who can fill in admirably is depth.

I’d argue that Lamb is probably better depth than Gavin Sheets. .177 ISO and a 13% BB rate came in handy last year. This year with LAD, he’s got a 114 WRC+.

Last edited 4 months ago by JimMargalusBiggestFan
metasox

I see so many comments about depth. But depth isn’t something that is easily acquired. There are very few spots on the roster to hide depth. It really needs to be developed and stockpiled in the system, or it is guys acquired like Haseley.

JimMargalusBiggestFan

Willfully ignoring the concept of building legitimate depth following two seasons of endless injuries seems so white sox. So, you’re definitely on to something.

metasox

The Sox actually leveraged their depth this season. It may not have always been the best. Like the system lacks top notch relievers. But I believe everyone they have played was in the system as of the end of Spring training (if including Cueto who came right at that point). They haven’t gone dumpster diving during the season for guys like Lamb or Hamilton as they did last yr, not including guys signed into the minors like Winkler. It is somewhat surprising how stable the roster has been

Last edited 4 months ago by metasox
soxygen

My inner economist is interested in this question: is there a relationship between the number of comments in the Minor Keys and whether the Sox lost the previous day’s game? The hypothesis is that all things being equal, the more hopeless the major league team appears to be, the more interested we all are in the minor league affiliates/ future Sox.

soxfan

So far this year every time the masses start clamoring for a promotion that guy goes out and proves why it’s a bad idea. Sanchez is OPSing less than 700 in AAA. Sosa was supposed to provide the power than Sanchez can’t and his ISO is only 0.010 higher.

Montgomery and Colas have taken their promotions and run with them, but I’m just waiting for the Peter principle to kick in in either case.

jhomeslice

I’m definitely more interested in the minor league stuff at the moment. Only in spite of the Sox improvement in their farm system and the development of Colas, Montgomery, the big picture for the next couple years is sort of grim relative to the minor league systems of other teams.

Montgomery is their only top 100 prospect, at 90. The Jays have 4, and the Yankees have 5, with 3 in the top 50. The Twins only have one, but, the Guardians have EIGHT. Only 2 in the top 50 for them, but still. So relative to the Guardians, Jays, and Yankees, the Sox look to be extremely disadvantaged in the immediate future with expected help from within.

Damn hard to find reasons to be enthusiastic about the future of this team. The Dodgers have 6 in the top 100, with 4 in the top 50. Without having had a top 20 pick in a decade. I’ve said before, the Sox need to look to what they are doing, maybe hire a person from their organization to improve their whole draft/player development mechanism.

soxygen

The Dodgers do stuff like acquire Homer Bailey’s horrible contract in a complicated trade that netted them Josiah Gray and Jeter Downs.

One of the big missed opportunities of the rebuild was not doing something similar in 2018 when the Sox had roughly the 3rd lowest payroll in baseball.

John SF

One of my old rebuild gripes:

We could have acquired Verlander when he was put on waivers. We were way ahead of the Astros in the waiver wire.

If the Tigers had refused to trade him to us & pulled him back, then they would have needed to wait to trade him that winter for a lower return (which helps us, as their division rivals).

If they had let us have him, we could have traded him for prospects that winter while eating up a bunch of his salary, or kept him to see if he got better the next year (which he did) and traded him then.

Another one: most of the teams who maxed out their IFA pool and ended up in the 3-year penalty box did so to acquire multiple guys.

EG: the cubs signed Eloy, Gleyber Torres, and several other guys all the same year and all for several million. The Padres signed a truly ridiculous number of guys the year they did it— depth they are still trading from.

But the year the Sox signed Robert we didn’t use that freedom to also sign more international players. We could have gotten 3-6 prospects in the FV 40-55 range for 3-6 million per prospect.

SocksO’Graham

Sometimes the good ones come forward suddenly and fast. Why not give Colas a call up for a cup of coffee?

andyfaust

i couldn’t resist the fast eddie joke earlier but i’m not entirely supposed to the idea. However, i would assume the main concern is that the 68 games he’s played in A+ and AA in 2022 represent the ONLY games he’s played in since 2019. You wouldn’t guess it by looking at his numbers, but he had a LONG time away from the game to get to where he is right now. Im sure he wasn’t just playing checkers that whole time outside of organized ball, but more ABs against competitive pitching would be ideal.

Right Size Wrong Shape

I’m definitely not as qualified as those who are watching him every day, but I would be shocked if he was ready for the bigs after a few games at AA. And even if he was, Tony would never play him.

SocksO’Graham

I suggested Colas only because I don’t foresee Hahn getting a difference maker. Recalling last year’s debacle at 2nd. Maybe Colas gives us a Gordon Bacon like initial couple months.

SocksO’Graham

I an glad you recognized me!

andyfaust

I can’t take credit for that. I def recognized the photo but it was Joliet Orange or someone else that first pointed it out.

jhomeslice

I dearly hope Colas is with the organization a week from now. Unless he is replaced by Soto.

phillyd

Kinda crazy to think that Colas is only 38 days younger than Soto.

denman

As much as I would love to see Soto playing RF for the Sox and while I think a trade package that included Colas might interest the Nationals, I don’t see the Sox trading a player who postponed his entry into US baseball by a year specifically to be able to join the White Sox. As frustrating as it maybe that Jerry runs the organization more like a small family business than a billion dollar franchise, there does seem to be a commitment to his players as people and a desire to reward loyalty. Thus, Leury has a multi-year guaranteed deal, Abreu will be resigned, Crochet will become a starter, Rodon wasn’t saddle with a QO. A lot of the organization’s less than optimal decisions, I think, stem from an effort to help a player get what he wants or reward a player’s past loyal service.

Last edited 4 months ago by denman
mrridgman

Interesting conjecture from Ken Rosenthal (Athletic) on state of the Padres. He expects Preller to be super-active (wouldn’t it be nice to be a Padres fan, other than the slimeball thing?). Padres will almost certainly acquire one or more e4xpensive assets, and are up against the luxury tax. He opines that they may be interested in trading Snell (who is suddenly pitching like the old Snell) for something they need more. Snell salary is 13M this year and 16.6M next year – cheaper than Keuchel!
Should the WS be interested? Who could they afford to give up? In my mind this would be more for 2023 than this year.

metasox

Sounds like a 3-team deal, no? For example, Sox send prospects to a third team that sends an outfielder to SD…

soxygen

In this scenario the Sox increase the payroll by pro-rated portion of $13M in 2022 and by $16.6M next year. I am guessing they don’t have the budget for that (at a minimum, it would make it very hard to re-sign Abreu).

I think a move like that would either need to include some salary relief, one of our bad contracts as part of the 3-way, or be paired with other transactions that would make room on the 2023 payroll.

The upside is that Snell is a good pitcher when he’s right, and could help us next year. Totally on board with that!

Last edited 4 months ago by soxygen
andyfaust

Just spitballing, but what do you think of this trade?

Sox get: Luis Castillo, Tyler Naquin
Reds get: Vaughn, Sosa, Burger

mrridgman

I think Burger for Naquin is probably a slight overpay, but OK. Vaughn + for Castillo is too much, because the net result is a weaker hitting Sox team (and they have that problem already). Sox are in a pickle, the high-upside prospects are few, and the better MLBers are necessary to contend.

andyfaust

The Castillo trade is based on an earlier comment above where I posited that it would be dumb to have both Vaughn and Abreu on the roster next year since there is such an abundance of DH options and that it is entirely possible, if not likely, that they extend Abreu a bit longer. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of Vaughn and would not be happy about losing his bat. I’m simply trying to balance out their assets to make a fuller more competitive roster and avoid a logjam at 1B/DH.

mrridgman

Well, they could just DFA a few (kidding), or not resign Jose (unfortunately kidding – at some point he’ll hit the wall, for once I’d like to see the Sox not the team to do it with).

jhomeslice

I agree they have a logjam of guys like Vaughn and Eloy who just don’t belong in the outfield, and need to make a trade or two in order to build a roster that makes more sense. Ideally I would trade Eloy rather than Vaughn, if you could get something of value. Eloy just seems like a bad bet to stay healthy. That doesn’t mean I like Vaughn for LF either. Either they let Abreu walk, or Vaughn should be full time DH. Their musical chairs in the outfield just isn’t working, they need guys who can both hit and field. As someone said, Luis Robert is their only real outfielder, really.

How soon might Colas be ready, best case? He’s doing well, is left handed, can field… and is the last guy they should be even thinking about trading because he has attributes that none of their current LF/RF’s have.

upnorthsox

Well they are likely stuck with AJ one more year, god I hate that Kimbrel trade, and Colas could use at least half a season in AAA so a June callup with AJ covering until then sounds like it would work ok. Heck they may get lucky and AJ isn’t completely toast yet. There isn’t an OFer on the FA market this winter sans Judge who’s worth more than a year or two commit so a serious manning of the OF is going to be done via trade or from within. Eloy+ for Jarred Kelenic++ from Seattle might be interesting. Seattle gets a power bat while we get defense, versatility, and cost reduction.

andyfaust

Or if you’d prefer Mahle:

Sox get: Mahle, Naquin, RP Diaz (easily their best BP arm, perhaps unrealistic to get him)
Reds get: just Vaughn

mrridgman

I could see Vaughn for Mahle, Naquin +. Does that make it more likely the Sox could win this year or next? I don’t know.