These are people on the White Sox 40-man roster. Grown men. Proud men. They've dedicated their lives to a challenging, brutal craft and many have lived their last few years fighting against the odds to keep it going, even as their once-dreamed about financial windfall became a faded and childish fantasy, they've trudged on dutifully and fought to keep playing until they're asked to go.
Let's fantasize about cutting them.
The White Sox 40-man roster by my count is at 39, with Nate Jones and Felipe Paulino on the 60-day DL. You know what, let's take care of one of these now.
Felipe Paulino - Not sure what didn't work out in his injury recovery, but it really didn't work. Not having a trace of command can be hidden a bit by throwing 95 mph a lot, but throwing bad sliders all the time backfired quickly. His contract is up and he was buried for the last three-fourths of the year.
Ronald Belisario - Another one year make-good deal in which no good was made. Oh for the days when he would be ruled a Type B free agent for some reason.
Scott Carroll - He's not uniquely skilled, but did yeoman org soldier work eating up innings of all shapes and sizes. He should retain Dylan Axelrod-style multi-use status in the new season, even if he probably set his career single season high in innings this year.
Maikel Cleto - A real serious candidate to get the boot early on, then came back with renewed command and a workable changeup, and struck out 22 over 15.1 innings after being recalled in August. Sure, the strongest memories he forged were when the bullpen was dragging down a team with early-season hope, but if he was only going to be right for half the season, better it be the latter half.
Raul Fernandez - I've been a White Sox blogger for the last five years and I don't know who this is? Uh, a 40/32 K/BB ratio for a 24-year-old in High-A seems not very good? Probably can outright this guy and keep him in the organization, guys.
Javy Guerra - He throws tremendously hard and can actually find the strike zone from time to time, so the Sox would prefer to keep them on if they don't get strapped for space. His ERA was the result of avoiding getting taken deep. It's more direct to say he allowed every single inherited runner to score than explain how ghastly his actual percentage (52%) was relative to the league. He probably wouldn't be missed, but he won't have to be.
Matt Lindstrom - The first wave in the all-groundball bullpen. You could argue that Lindstrom's injury hastened the pen's destabilization, but he was also really bad throughout. The 34-year-old's already declining velocity and whiffs are now in full freefall. His contract is up. He was a good player in 2013 and there's nothing to regret about the signing. If this sounds like a eulogy, well...
Hector Noesi - Could easily be the odd man out of the rotation if the Sox pursue significant upgrades, but they like him far too much not to keep him around in some capacity. Long reliever is a distinct possibility.
Eric Surkamp - He did a really good impression of the least talented pitcher in Major League Baseball for a while before looking dominant over his last eight appearances, striking out eight and allowing a single run over 7.1 innings. A tiny sample, yes, but considering he couldn't go three pitches without splitting the plate with an 89-mph fastball earlier, it was a decided shift. He hung around through the bad times because he was the only left-hander around, and that should continue to carry him. Being out of options doesn't help, though.
Scott Snodgress - You would think he could make a fairly rapid ascent to LOOGY now that his starter ambitions have gone by the board, but he still just throws to random locations. He has the potential to be a lot more dominant out of the pen than Surkamp will ever be, so the Sox will probably keep holding the torch for a bit longer.
Taylor Thompson - The great bullpen cascade failure of 2014 brought him on, competent and invested efforts to fix the mess will likely drive him off.
Andy Wilkins - He played really, really, really awfully and thoroughly bludgeoned deluded notions that he was some sort of Paul Konerko into a bloody pulp. But it's hard to go from 'MLB call-up' to 'Get off the 40-man' in just a month when the Sox positional depth here is as shallow as it is.
Leury Garcia - This would be a question if he wasn't pre-arbitration with a minor league option left. But he is, so there is not much need to make a big fuss over how terrible of a hitter he is.
Jordan Danks - He can play plus defense and run into balls from right-handers, and is the king of the Charlotte Knights. He'll keep bouncing up and down for a while yet.
Jared Mitchell - Who the hell knows what the thought process here is? He's 26-year-old and can't make contact in Triple-A, so he's in no danger of being claimed off waivers, but is irrationally loved in the organization.
Dayan Viciedo - It seems more reasonable that someone would make a bust-for-bust trade for him than he would simply be non-tendered. His tryout at first base suggest the team is looking for some ways to make use of him in a smaller role.
Michael Taylor - There's not much lingering upside for the Triple-A troubadour, so while he mashed in Charlotte and earned a call-up, he's not part of any future plans and could easily be a target to move if the Sox need some space.
With Paulino, Belisario, Lindstrom, Fernandez, Thompson, and Taylor, that would be an easy trip down to 35 guys on the roster, with viable options for more. Unless I'm totally drunk and screwed this up.
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