The White Sox announced a variety of moves this afternoon, none of them earth-shattering, but notable none the less.
The first move was that Mat Latos was designated for assignment.
Latos was 6-2 with a 4.62 ERA in 11 starts for the Sox. But after starting out 4-0 with a 0.74 ERA in his first four games, he was 2-2 with a 7.25 ERA over his last seven games. Much like Danks earlier in the season, the White Sox cut the cord quickly once it was apparent Latos just couldn’t get the job done.
To fill the spot of Latos, the White Sox called up Tyler Danish from AA Birmingham. Danish is a 21-year-old right-handed pitcher who was the Sox second round pick in the 2013 draft.
Danish is 3-7 with a 4.42 ERA in 12 starts at Birmingham, and is expected to work out of the bullpen for the Sox. It’s possible he is just getting the call for tonight’s game with Gonzalez pitching and the bullpen taxed after the James Shields debacle of last night.
If Danish does stick around for a while it will likely be in a long relief role.
Shortly after these two moves the White Sox announced that they have signed 35-year-old Justin Morneau to a one-year, $1 million contract. Morneau was immediately placed on the 15-day disabled list. The veteran first baseman has not played this year and is working to get healthy after surgery to repair his left elbow in the off-season.
Morneau played in 49 games for the Rockies last year and slashed .310/.363/.458 with a .821 OPS. He won the National League batting title in 2014 with a .319 average for Colorado and hit 17 homers while driving in 82 runs. According to Rick Hahn, Morneau is expected to be ready to join the Sox sometime in July.
The move is a no risk, high reward move for the Sox. If Morneau can’t get healthy or isn’t any good, all it cost the Sox was a million bucks. If he has anything left in the tank, he’s a decent left-handed bat and an actual backup option at first base to Jose Abreu.
While none of these moves are awe inspiring or confidence building, they are still moves that a team makes when they intend to be contenders for a playoff spot. The next move for the Sox will be to bring in a legitimate, middle of the order bat to try and add some life to this listless offense.
None of these moves may work, but White Sox fans should at least take solace in the fact that the front office hasn’t decided to blow things up yet, even if the team’s performance is trending in that direction.