Jose Rondón’s DFA loosens up White Sox infield picture

Eloy Jiménez came off the disabled list on Sunday and went 0-for-3 in his return. The other key White Sox on the injured list, Tim Anderson, is probably coming back to take the roster spot vacated by Dylan Covey after his disastrous outing on Sunday.

Anderson’s return, combined with the designation of Jose Rondón that accommodated Jiménez’s return, marks what looks like the start of a White Sox infield reconfiguration.

From his performance (.197/.265/.282) to his playing time (one start over the last week), the writing was on the wall for Rondón. A hitless nine plate appearances over three straight starts from July 19-21 sealed his fate. He showed flashes of a major-league game, but once the power dried up, he didn’t have the hit tool or plate discipline to compensate.

His DFA is not a major move in isolation, but it’s the first domino to fall for a second base/utility infield spot in flux. Rondon might’ve been scuffling all season, and he wasn’t the only vulnerable middle infielder.

Yolmer Sánchez is hitting .246/.302/.325, and that OBP is .244 in July. He went from hitting righties better in 2018 to flailing helplessly against them this year (.561 OPS). The White Sox held onto Ryan Goins over Rondón because Goins poses a threat to right-handed pitchers, and I wouldn’t surprised to see him cut into Sánchez’s playing time once Tim Anderson returns.

If Sánchez is limited to playing only against righties, that would seem to create an inroad for somebody like Danny Mendick, a right-handed utility infielder who, like Sánchez, is likely to project to replacement level, but, unlike Sánchez, wouldn’t require a $5 million salary in arbitration the following year.

And should Sánchez end up being non-tendered after the season, the path then more or less cleared for Nick Madrigal, who is hitting .353/.413/.468 with 14 walks to five strikeouts over 172 plate appearances in Birmingham.

Some like Scott Merkin are lumping Madrigal into the same boat as Luis Robert, worthy of a call-up this season …

… and talent-wise, that’s probably the case. But I think it makes sense to separate their debuts — Robert as soon as possible, and Madrigal in April 2020. For one, it lengthens out the timeline for various key White Sox hitting free agency, but what’s equally pragmatic, it also gives the Sox all of September to figure out what to do with the lesser infield prospects who could still theoretically contribute.

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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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PauliePaulie

If the Sox tentative plan were to bring up Madrigal next May, I’m curious if Sox fans would prefer allocating funds elsewhere by sticking with Goins or Mendick to open the season, or hedge by giving a big league deal to a bounceback candidate like Scooter Gennett or vet like Brock Holt or even Moustakas?

GoGoSoxFan

Expecting the Sox to allocate funds elsewhere is probably a pipe dream, but that’d be my choice.

HallofFrank

How about Leury getting some time at 2B?

PauliePaulie

As it stands, he’ll be in CF during that time.

burning-phoneix

He actually seems better in the outfield despite coming in as a Utility Infielder

Trooper Galactus

Well, he’s also had to play there a lot more often. I think if given regular time in the infield he’d be really good.

iowasox1971

Totally agree with Scott Merkin on this. Bring Robert up now. Madrigal should be a September call-up, if he does well in Charlotte after hopefully spending August in Triple-A. Get both players ready for the big leagues. Hopefully, both can start for us on Opening Day.

I’m ready to move on from Yolmer. Assuming we sign or trade for a right fielder, I’d like Leury to be the suber-sub for next season, because he can play both infield and outfield. If we need still another infielder on next season’s roster, I wouldn’t mind having Goins or Escobar on the roster. The last guy like that probably won’t play much, so giving the role to someone like Mendick probably isn’t the best solution.

karkovice squad

Amazing difference of opinion after a month and 16 AAA games. Welcome to the screw service time bandwagon. Plenty of room.

what

White sox transaction page shows Anderson activated and cordell optioned

PauliePaulie

Sent down instead of Adam Engel. That’s gotta sting.

soxexile

There’s a difference between Engel and Cordell? One AAAA outfielder looks a lot like the next.

PopeDonnPall

I’m confused on the headcount. Rondon went away when Eloy came back. Then Covey goes away when Anderson comes back… but so does Cordell?

Spot open, no?

burning-phoneix

Probably gonna call up a pitcher to replace Covey though I don’t know who else they have down there that is better. Probably recalling Hector Santiago.

GoGoSoxFan

Clearly they’re making room for Syndergaard.

lil jimmy

I’m sure things will be clear by 4:00 PM tomorrow.

burning-phoneix

Why? Cordell didn’t hit much better than Engel and while Cordell has a good glove in the corner outfield positions, Engel is gold glove caliber in CF, freeing up Leury to go anywhere the team needs him.

Trooper Galactus

I really don’t think Cordell’s defense was good anywhere, much less good enough to justify his poor offense.

PopeDonnPall

I don’t know why this bugs me but it does:

CJ Abrams: .405 3 21 w 13 steals in age appropriate AZL

Vaughn: .253 2 11 at Kanny

burning-phoneix

But Vaughn hit .600 AVG down there lol

If you want something from the Sox, DJ Gladney is even younger than Abrams and is hitting .919 OPS. We drafted him in the 16th Round and even better, he comes from the White Sox ACE program too.

Trooper Galactus

Gladney went 0-for-4 with 4 Ks after you wrote this. Way to go.

knoxfire30

Didnt realize just how bad Sanchez’s numbers have cratered vs right hand pitchers. His roster spot is finally in jeopardy heading into 2020 and its long over due. I am sure Goins or Mendick can handle the job of utility infielder and spot starter for a month or two before Madrigal gets beyond the service time mark. I know people want to see these players now and get them ready for 2020 but if the sox arent gonna pour about 80 mil into free agency for roster upgrades especially in the rotation there isnt much of a point in wasting a year of service time.

roke1960

Hopefully their loyalty to players who suck won’t continue into this offseason and they nontender Yolmer. No way he is worth $5 million. As you said Goins or Mendick or even Leury can handle 2nd until Madrigal is up. If they trade Colome and non tender Yolmer, they will have about $50 million coming off the books this winter (Abreu, Jay, Nova, Castillo, Jones plus Colome and Yolmer). There’s no reason they can’t add $80 million to the payroll this winter. That would still leave their payroll at about $120 million.

burning-phoneix

Has it ever happened that a player’s wage goes down in Arb? His wage is due to his 3+ WAR season in 2017 and he has never been that good again.

knoxfire30

almost never it usually requires significant time missed due to injury, knowing the sox they will just sign him to like a 3 year 15 mil deal, cause he dumps gatorade on people and thats way more important then actually being good at baseball

GoGoSoxFan

The chemistry of gatorade is priceless.

burning-phoneix

To paraphrase Seven Samurai “As a batter, barely mediocre.But an honest, amusing man, Something about him brightens one’s spirits. He’ll be a treasure in hard times.”

I say we hire him as a DCC “Designated Class Clown”

roke1960

Both he and Rondon sure seem to have fun in the dugout. Maybe they would accept $500k to be the 2 DCCs!

Trooper Galactus

So, Yolmer will be the first killed?

gibby32

I’ve been thinking about that and I think that we could groom someone to pour gatorade. I think Castro could do it; if Goins isn’t starting, he would be a candidate also. Adam Engel is desperate to stay in the majors.

GoGoSoxFan

If Leury is going to be the swiss army knife he should be able to do it.

karkovice squad

Leury’s too fragile for the role, might tear his biceps, separate his shoulder, or break his hip.

GoGoSoxFan

Excellent point. So designate the lowest leverage relief pitcher and hope he does hurt himself.

Trooper Galactus

Yeah, and part of the problem for the White Sox will be that if they thought he was so awful he needed to be paid less, why was he playing so much?

roke1960

It certainly won’t go down. It may stay about the same. But $4+ million for Yolmer is way, way too much.

lil jimmy

If they go to arbitration. A 10% bump is the floor.

GoGoSoxFan

Bye Yolmer!

Neat_on_the_rocks

I’m hoping the Sox actually will spend close to 80M in 2020 upgrades lol.

jorgefabregas

The Orioles claimed Rondon. Good for him.