As I sit here this morning, the White Sox are cruising to their first .500 or better record in 8 years and their first playoff appearance in a dozen years. To say my mind space that is occupied by the White Sox is much more pleasant than it has been in a VERY LONG TIME, is an understatement. However, I guess despite being a decidedly glass half full sort of dude, I’m also an “always looking for ways to improve” dude as well.
I think the most obvious weird part of the White Sox run to prominence is that the back end of their 40 man roster is more disheveled than Chorizy-E at the end of a weekend bender
Some of you probably aren’t too familiar with the 40 man roster and I don’t intend to give a dissertation on the subject, but we can always go with the short, short version.
The 40 man roster is basically all of the purchased contracts that the team holds. In other words, the 40 man is the bigger circle around the 25 err, 26, uhh…now 28 man roster. The regular team holds 28 players and then there are an excess amount of players that make up the rest of the 40 man roster and those folks are usually hanging out on short-term disability (we all have that friend, maybe they pretended to slip and fall and there were no witnesses) aka the IL or they are kicking around in the minor leagues. In the White Sox case, they have 28 on the regular roster (comprised of 14 position players and 14 pitchers) and Jace Fry and Carlos Rodon are on the IL. That gets you to 30. The remaining 10 players are those in the Player Pool table below in beige.
This is where it gets a little weird. In theory, these 10 remaining players are the pool that you would generally draw from to replace players on the 28 man roster that are ineffective, or injured or both.
Let’s start with our 3 quasi catchers. Zacky Dancin’ for Dubs, Seby Zavala and Yermin poppin’ bottles. Btw, I love that they list Yermin as Util, whoever makes this chart must play a lot of fantasy baseball, because Util is usually the player in fantasy baseball who you have as an extra hitter, this most definitely does not mean he’ll be filling Leury Garcia’s shoes anytime soon (oh, and that brings up another point about the 40 man roster, if a player needs to go on long-term disability, what used to be called the 60 day IL, but is now the 45 day IL, they are technically removed from the 40 man, during the season, so that you can add more players and in theory have more players to utilize during the season).
I don’t know what it says in the GM handbook as far as what percentage of your position players on the 40 man roster should be catchers, but if my mathaments are correct, the White Sox have 5 (Yas, MC Cann, Yermin, Collins & Seby) and a total of 20 position players on the 40 man, so dats 25% of all of the position players. Maybe the GM handbook says 25% catchers is optimal and I should TRUST THE PROCESS. Maybe Ricky Renteria specifically requested that there be near infinite catchers at his fingertips or he can’t work under these conditions. I dunno, but it doesn’t seem terribly functional. What kinda circumstances are needed to have Yermin or Seby catching 4 days per week and do they involve a tornado in Kansas and flying monkeys? I’m probably missing the big picture here, but sure does seem like a lot of catcher.
Okay, fine, maybe you want 5 catchers, but this next group seems even more egregious, I bring you, 3 minor league outfielders.
Do you remember when Nicky Delmonico played for like a week at the beginning of the season? It’s mainly because the White Sox are prioritizing these tree guys (which used to be 4, but then they realized that they could take Luis Basabe to the San Francisco Giants pawn shop and redeem him for greenbacks). I know what you are going to say, that fucking Ricky Renteria played that Delmonico for all that time, but part of the reason he was even in position to play him is that the 40 man roster was just housing a bunch of guys that aren’t really ready to be playing big league ball.
Adolfo has been on the 40 man roster for awhile, he and Basabe (now gone as previously mentioned) were originally put on here because the San Diego Padres *allegedly* spooked the White Sox into hiding some of their more promising / eligible talent on the 40 man even though these guys weren’t quite ready to be major leaguers. You see the Padres claimed some super young prospects in the Rule 5 draft one year and in an effort to not allow Adolfo or Basabe to be taken from the team in that manner, the White Sox put them on the 40 man even though they were pretty far from being in the majors. Basabe recently got the call for San Francisco, while I think we aren’t going to see Adolfo at all this year (at least I hope not).
Gonzalez seemed like the most likely guy to run around the White Sox outfield in case all hell broke loose and when Luis Robert got hurt for a bit, he played some outfield and promptly dropped the first flyball hit to him. He was sent down soon after……and Jarrod Dyson was acquired at the deadline.
Rutherford is last on this list because he really hasn’t been good in the minors since the White Sox acquired him, but I hear he hits good in practice. Regardless, these 3 OF’s aren’t ready to step in and play semi-regularly for a couple weeks to a month, which makes them odd fits for the 40 man, although I can’t necessarily say there is anything better laying around that should replace them in the White Sox system, it’s just a weird grouping that is locking down a spot without much help to the big league club.
Actually, this group is fine…it’s not very good, but sometimes that happens, there are at least some live arms here that in theory could eat up some innings and truth be told, we’ll probably get our Eleventeeth Thanksgiving Day style helping of Reynaldo Lopez in the very near future.
The White Sox have a good solid core, and I’m pretty horny for the 2020 playoffs and for the next 3-5 seasons in general, but one thing that needs to be taken care of, is the front office needs to tighten up this 40 man roster to handle the rigors of 162 games. It seems like a small thing, that likely turns into a big one and one that has haunted the White Sox in the past. I look forward to see what player development and off-season acquisitions take place to make this a less awkward 40 man roster.