The White Sox made a few roster moves during the day off that went unannounced, but made it onto the team transaction page:
- Activated Lucas Giolito from the 10-day injured list
- Recalled Zack Collins from AAA Charlotte
- Optioned Danny Mendick and Seby Zavala to AAA Charlotte
The Giolito news is the big news here, as the right-hander’s return means the starting rotation is once again back and healthy before the end of the season September push. Giolito has had another solid season, posting a 3.69 ERA/3.87 FIP with 3.3 fWAR to show for it. He’s really turned it on in the second half, posting a 2.82 ERA and .267 wOBA, good for 1.2 fWAR. He will likely get a few tune-up starts in preparation for the playoffs over the next several weeks.
Giolito missed just the minimum time of 10 days with a left hamstring strain that occurred during his start against Pittsburgh.
The move to option Mendick was also expected, as the utility infielder/outfielder has hit just .250/.250/.250 since his last call-up. It’s no easy thing to continue to move up and down all season, but Mendick provides valuable versatility in situations when needed. In this case, Leury Garcia and Romy Gonzalez will continue to handle the bulk of the utility innings.
The more unexpected news is optioning Seby Zavala in favor of Zack Collins. Zavala is hitless over his last 12 at-bats, and is slashing just .183/.240/.376 on the season. However, he has been applauded for his defense behind the plate. Collins, on the other hand, has been one of the worst defensive catchers in baseball this season, and since being optioned to AAA Charlotte to begin the month, Collins has hit just .142/.211/.400 across nine games.
Likely, this is a move to give Zavala regular at-bats in anticipation of the playoffs. Zavala’s defense will be valuable if necessary in the playoffs. However, Yasmani Grandal should be expected to handle all catching duties during the playoffs, so neither backup catcher should have much of an impact in October.
The next moves for the White Sox are likely to involve the last remaining injured players: Tim Anderson and Adam Engel. Anderson’s 10-day IL stint has expired, so he can be activated at any time, while according to Tony La Russa, Engel is likely to join the roster this weekend.
As Anderson and Engel get healthy, look for Mike Wright, Romy Gonzalez, or Ryan Burr to potentially be optioned.
The roster for October continues to take shape as players get healthier. Let’s see if a healthy lineup can catch the Astros for home-field advantage. The White Sox enter play today just two games behind Houston for the second seed (and as a result, home-field advantage in the ALDS).
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