White Sox announce Opening Day roster, Yoán Moncada to IL

It turns out Jake Burger was lifted from Wednesday’s Charlotte Knights game for the good reason, albeit due to bad news above.

The White Sox unveiled the Opening Day roster, and Burger is on it thanks to an oblique strain that’s shelving Yoán Moncada to start the season. Rick Hahn gave an estimated absence of three weeks, with hopes that it’s on the conservative side.

Moncada is one of six members of the White Sox on the injured list, and Ryan Burr is the other surprise (right shoulder strain). The other injuries had been previously announced:

  • Joe Kelly (right biceps nerve injury)
  • Lance Lynn (right knee surgery)
  • Garrett Crochet (Tommy John surgery)
  • Yermín Mercedes (left hamate bone surgery)

Perhaps you can mentally account for Moncada by noting that Andrew Vaughn, who was expected to miss a couple weeks due to his hip pointer, won’t require an IL stint to start the season. It’s not quite an even-up swap because Moncada’s a switch-hitter, but if you picked Burger as your breakout player, this certainly puts those wheels in motion.

The White Sox are still able to field a strong 28-man roster around those injuries, half of whom are pitchers. Going position-by-position:

Rotation: Lucas Giolito, Dylan Cease, Dallas Keuchel, Michael Kopech, Reynaldo López.

Relievers: Liam Hendriks, Aaron Bummer, Kendall Graveman, Kyle Crick, Matt Foster, José Ruiz, Vince Velasquez, Tanner Banks, Bennett Sousa

Catchers: Yasmani Grandal, Reese McGuire

Infielders: José Abreu, Tim Anderson, Jake Burger, Josh Harrison, Leury García, Danny Mendick, Gavin Sheets

Outfielders: Luis Robert, Eloy Jiménez, AJ Pollock, Andrew Vaughn, Adam Engel

Beyond Burger, the biggest surprise is Banks, a 30-year-old lefty who was selected in the 18th round of the 2014 draft. He’s spent his career making lives easier for his minor-league managers with 100-plus innings from a rotation spot, but he shifted to bullpen work last season, and showed up this spring throwing 94. With Crochet leaving a void among lefty relievers who can cover multiple innings, Banks has the opportunity of a lifetime.

Banks and Crick are new to the 40-man roster, and the White Sox accommodated them by outrighting Seby Zavala to Charlotte and designating Micker Adolfo for assignment. Unlike Zavala, Adolfo doesn’t seem likely to survive the waiver process, and we’ll update that front when news arrives.

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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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BenwithVen

Well, a strained oblique and his willingness to play through it might explain Yoan’s spring numbers.

andyfaust

Well, here’s hoping that jake can help mitigate Yoan’s personal disaster and keep it from becoming a disaster for the whole club.

a-t

Yoan was really struggling this spring so not a huge surprise. If Burger hits well in this stint, he may get a chance to stick around… especially if his efforts to actually play 2B let him be just kinda playable.

Steve

Well, I hope that explains why Burger was pulled last night.

a-t

Adolfo DFA’d. We’ll see if he makes it through waivers, if they couldn’t trade him there’s some chance of that working.

Twins traded Rogers and Rooker for Pagan and Paddack. I don’t love the Twins getting more starting pitching, but Paddack is no less of a question mark as to how good he actually is than Joe Ryan et al, and Rogers accounted for more than half of the Twins’ bullpen WAR projections, so I’m not too upset. Twins are throwing a lot of SPs at the wall to see who (if any) stick.

jhomeslice

I can’t imagine Adolfo making it through waivers. I sure hope he does, would much rather have him than Rutherford.

md03

Not as comfortable with that bullpen now that I see it on paper. After Hendriks really hope Graveman shows his pre trade success then Kelly and Bummer also are in peak form. From there there’s a lot of flame outs, guys who struggled last year and then real lottery picks. Should be an interesting couple weeks of the season, but that lineup makes me feel better.

a-t

Crick and Sousa are looking promising so far, Banks is interesting with increased velocity and performing well in relief last year at Charlotte. It doesn’t have as many established high-quality relievers as it did two weeks ago, but I expect this bullpen to still be top-flight, outside of maybe the swingmen Velasquez & Reynaldo.

As Cirensica

Was Adolfo DFAed to make room in the 40 man roster or because he was out of options? Can’t remember.

a-t

out of options

NDSox12

The latter. Doubtful he would have been their first choice to DFA.

jhomeslice

It would be nice if Kelly can pitch pretty soon, to earn most of the 8.5M they are giving him. Why they would sign an injured player when they could have had a fully healthy Tepera, who did well in 3 playoff games and who had similar in season numbers, is a mystery. Tepera was cheaper too.

I hope he isn’t out very long. I don’t like the prospects of Foster/Ruiz/Banks/Sousa/Crick. At least one or two of them will probably falter. Kelly and Cueto should force two of them to the minors pretty soon, hopefuly. I hope Cueto gets a start at Charlotte soon.

dongutteridge

I’m not sure I will ever understand that Joe Kelly contract.

calcetinesblancos

Burger is going to rake, you watch. He has a little MLB experience under his belt now and he’s under zero pressure; he’s probably just stoked not to be going back to the minor league life.

jhomeslice

I would love for him to do well enough to create a roster dilemma when Moncada gets back. I saw one blurb that said Moncada’s injury is more severe than they thought, which isn’t good. Jake might be playing into May.

I could see them send Mendick down if Burger looks too good to go back to AAA. The only shame is that Burger won’t be able to get time at 2b at AAA like they might have been planning. He started at 2b last night. I can’t see them trying him there at the MLB level to experiment.

Qubort

They started Vaughn in left last year with a lot less practice than Burger has at 2nd now. Hopefully he hits well enough to make it a dilemma.

jhomeslice

The Sox were almost the worst defensive team in the league last year. 2b is not left field. I have a hard time picturing them putting him at 2b with almost zero experience at the position, even if he hits like King Kong.

shaggy65

I’m guessing Mendick goes down to AAA as soon as TA7 is back from suspension

metasox

Am I wrong or do the Sox simply play short-handed while Anderson is out?