White Sox reinstate Mike Clevinger and Elvis Andrus, DFA Hanser Alberto

White Sox pitcher Mike Clevinger
(Photo by Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire)

As Jesse Scholtens’ long-relief appearance on Wednesday foreshadowed, Mike Clevinger is off the injured list and starting tonight’s opener against Detroit.

Clevinger is back from his bout of right wrist inflammation, and Elvis Andrus joins him from off the IL as part of four roster moves made by the White Sox today. To make room on the 26-man roster, the White Sox optioned Scholtens to Charlotte and designated Hanser Alberto for assignment.

Alberto’s DFA, which we discussed on today’s Sox Machine Podcast because Josh caught wind of that move, represents a transition on the White Sox roster.

At one point, Alberto represented a decided improvement over González and Lenyn Sosa by providing competitive at-bats and the occasional extra-base hit. But after a 4-for-4 night against Cincinnati on May 7, he hit .178/.225/.222 over 50 plate appearances. The one thing you could say is that he put the ball in play (eight strikeouts), but to no real effect.

If the White Sox were hovering around first place, Alberto still might have a role on the roster as somebody who looks superficially capable, because sometimes that’s all you need from a guy playing once or twice a week.

Instead, the Sox are a dozen games under .500, so somebody like Alberto just gets in the way. If the White Sox are going to rally, it’s because the Sox start benefiting from players tapping into their upsides. Guys like González and Lenyn Sosa theoretically have that. Alberto does not.

Alberto did pitch a couple of innings and hit a few homers, but his lasting legacy will probably be botching the rundown that resulted in Tim Anderson’s knee sprain.

As for Andrus, he hadn’t distinguished himself with the bat before his tweaked his oblique — .201/.280/.252 over 151 plate appearances — and so he’ll probably take a back seat as the White Sox explore whether González’s recent hot streak represents authentic development. He’s still worth keeping around because he plays a stable shortstop, which Alberto, González and Sosa can’t claim.

Jesse Scholtens can hold his head higher, even if he’s heading down to Triple-A.. Sure, the peripherals suggest a mirage — 13.2 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 6 BB, 5 K, 1 HR — but when it comes to seventh starters, buying your team a game is what matters, and Scholtens fulfilled every job asked of him.

May 22: Five innings of one-run ball after Jimmy Lambert opened for an inning.

May 27: Two runs over 4⅔ innings, only because Pedro Grifol had an appropriately short leash on a game the White Sox could’ve won.

May 31: Four innings of bullpen-saving work that were better and more efficient than Lance Lynn’s four innings that preceded him.

He helped the White Sox survive their first couple weeks without one of their original five starting pitchers, and provided he’s healthy, he’ll probably get more turns to test the staying power, or just cross days off the calendar.

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Really good points about Alberto. My initial reaction was disappointment to see him go, but his at-bats are more useful in Romy’s hands, one way or the other.

I’m sure Jerry is looking forward to getting cash considerations for Hanser next week.