White Sox call up Korey Lee, option Carlos Pérez

White Sox catcher Korey Lee
Korey Lee (Jim Margalus / Sox Machine)

I wasn’t among the crowd clamoring for Korey Lee to replace Yasmani Grandal after the White Sox acquired him in the Kendall Graveman trade. The White Sox traded for Lee while he was recovering from an oblique strain, so it made sense to wait until he proved himself fully healthy and regained his timing.

He appears to have done the former, but I’m not convinced about the latter. He struck out 22 times in his first 55 plate appearances in Charlotte. He’s done so against one extra-base hit, so it’s not like he’s absorbing the downside of an all-or-nothing approach. He’s also done so against just three walks, so it’s not like he’s intentional about his pitch selection and deep counts backfire against him. There’s just a lot of swinging and missing — or swinging and mis-hitting — going on.

Nevertheless, we can refer to Lee’s Charlotte experience in past tense for the time being, because the White Sox called him up to Chicago. He’s not replacing Grandal, but Carlos Pérez, who returns to Triple-A.

The White Sox’s continued disregard for Pérez is strange, especially since he’d actually been hitting in August. He’d been 5-for-14 with two doubles over six games this month, and 5-for-11 in games he started. He makes enough contact to have those kinds of hot streaks, but perhaps the Sox don’t like the other parts of his game enough to let him get on BABIP rolls.

Lee offers a stronger arm and a lot more speed — he might be the White Sox’s fastest catcher since Ray Schalk — but if his recent form hangs around, his plate appearances aren’t going to be all that promising. (As for his receiving, it’s hard to judge in a small sample because half of Charlotte’s games are determined by ABS.)

In defense of the decision, there may never be a perfect time to call up Lee. The season is over in a month, the Sox have two other catchers on the 40-man under team control next year, and Edgar Quero is meeting the hype in Birmingham after coming over from Anaheim in the Lucas Giolito trade. The White Sox may want to take the longest possible look at Lee to understand what he might have to offer the 2024 team, even if the early returns aren’t likely to be successful.

Then again, that’s kinda what I thought the Sox were doing with Pérez, but he’s made just four starts behind the plate over three different stints. The White Sox have been reluctant to look at the future beyond Grandal, so if Lee’s the one that ultimately prompts them to turn the page, then Lee it is, ready or not.

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Right Size Wrong Shape

Wasn’t Josh Paul pretty fast?

StockroomSnail

…too fast too fast for glove!

Wayne

.308/.372/.333 in last 10 games.
Still too high K% (41.9)

Last edited 30 days ago by Wayne
Wayne

Lee starting and Perez backup duties should be the way forward. Seby can stay injured for the year if they want him to compete for spot next year.

Grandal should clear waivers in time to be picked up before September 1st. (No one is taking the ~$3M left on his deal, but the prorated minimum, sure).

steelydan52

With Lee up now they should have just cut the cord on both Grandal and Zavala and left Perez on the team. Those guys won’t be on the team next season so let’s move away from them now.

JazznFunk

Pitchers likely wouldn’t be too happy with only inexperienced catchers. And if the Sox like Lee for next season, ideally they pair him with an experienced catcher he can learn from.

steelydan52

I don’t know that it would make a hell of a difference. They’ve tanked the season and one of the coaches can call in the pitch. Teams have gone with rookie catchers for a long time. For sure next season, if it’s Lee and Perez or Quero (if he’s ready), the rest will adjust. The Sox don’t have a Greg Maddux or anyone like that who should dictate who their catcher should be. Coddling time is OVAH!

Chip Ramsey

A example of White Sox development and another example of why Chris Getz should have been fired too,

md03

Yeah our futility developing catchers is wild, almost as bad as developing starting pitchers, outfielders, most infielders, managers and front office folks….

Trooper Galactus

They’re pretty good at developing starting pitchers into relievers, I guess.

Wayne

Hey, with the trades brining in Korey Lee (who will need to hit better to be more than back-up or 3rd catcher) and Quero (who is looking very good at AA) bump the system up.

Carlos Perez looked okay in this stint. (I would prefer to have him than Grandal at this point). And Seby’s hit too is terrible, but pitchers like throwing to him.

And Adam Hackenberg’s development and promotion all the way to AAA is a very positive thing. And Xavier Fernandez can hit, so as long as his catching is continuing to develop, he is fine as a 4th/5th catcher option next year.

I am interested in Calvin Harris, Michael Turner, Ronny Hernandez development.

Willardmarshall

Has he just strained his oblique in the photo?

FishSox

Having Grandal still on the team, let alone starting inn front of Perez is freaking baffling. Perez was out playing him.

FishSox

Your take is well received. Upon further thought though, the whole “makes sense” is troubling considering the brainpower involved. It makes me wonder if Pedro is just massaging egos again instead of running a ballclub. Color me skeptical.

steelydan52

Ditto. I fully understand what Jim is saying and I wouldn’t disagree if the Sox were in contention for the playoffs. The catching position has done squat for the Sox this season and neither has the pitching staff. If we’re going to rebuild then rebuild but whether you have Grandal or Lee or Zavala catching, it won’t make a difference. I get wanting young pitchers feeling comfortable but frankly, the Sox don’t have any good pitching prospects coming up any time soon. Let the kids play together and learn together and get rid of the dead wood.

Right Size Wrong Shape

Sosa on the bench again. I’m so sick of Pedro Grifol.

steelydan52

If it truly is going to be a Getz/Moore production then we are totally screwed for next season. JR started out well this week but then fell flat on his face.

md03

Not defending them but I’m going to give Getz a chance even though he has no successful credentials and it seems like Reinsussa/Ladorf(?) will definitely mess it up. If Dayton can hard ass our system to sticking to some fundamentals and development, maybe we can fall into a playoff series victory. More likely that we’ll have to wait for Jerry to die though.

Last edited 30 days ago by md03
steelydan52

Believe me, I want whoever takes over to succeed. Getz’s record for running their minor leagues leaves a lot to be desired. If JR just promoted Getz to GM and said everything will be evaluated after the season I’d feel alright. If he promotes Getz to GM AND brings in Moore as president then we know what we’re getting for next season. I want the Sox to be good as I have for the past 65 years but history is not on the fans side. I do hope for the best though.

To Err is Herrmann

LaDorf is good.

Wayne
  • White Sox leveraging “looking into options” about where to play is how the week started.
  • Then came RH and KW being let go
  • Then finally the rumors of Getz/Moore team up
mrridgman

Pedro said something to the effect that he would never sacrificew a game for the purpose of development. Maybe it’s time for interim Getz to call up Pedro and tell him to play the young guys.

StockroomSnail

You can fire the Hahn and Williams out of the white sox, but you cannot fire the white sox out of the white sox.

To Err is Herrmann

I assume what the W Sox are playing for now is simply to not finish last behind the Royals.

StockroomSnail

Here’s hoping they fail.

FishSox

We’re only 9.5 games out…but KC’s not making it easy on us, they keep losing also.

Last edited 29 days ago by FishSox
StockroomSnail

Don’t stop believing