Who is coming to make this more watchable?
The White Sox have lost six games in a row, and have the sixth-worst run differential and baseball. We knew they would be bad this year...and they're bad! So, what's next? Rosters are expanding, there's still no left-hander reliever on the roster and Dayan Viciedo made a somewhat justified start on Sunday. Let's see what we can do here.
This post would just be entirely about him if I felt I had enough to add to just the obvious pyrotechnics of his Charlotte stat lines. After Sunday's eight strikeouts in four innings, Rodon had struck out 11 batters in seven innings, walked five, but allowed just two runs on two hits. His stuff has been no less completely overwhelming for Triple-A hitters, just the consequences for his wildness have increased.
Right now he has an as-advertised devastating slider, and the supposedly in-development changeup is getting whiffs, and he' s coming unglued at times spotting his fastball. That formula easily makes him the best short left-handed reliever in the organization, since Eric Surkamp has made me wonder aloud if waiving Scott Downs was a mistake multiple times.
But while that may be the logical endpoint for the seemingly inevitable rushed September call-up, Rodon has been ratcheting up his outing length. It could easily just for practice for his shot at the 2015 rotation, but it's an interesting thing to keep a watch on. The Sox have nothing too great to discover from more Scott Carroll starts, and could certainly mitigate the innings loads for Chris Sale and Jose Quintana. It's not like it would be hard to find Rodon a start, it just sounds like too much.
He's less of a candidate to get a call-up as a promise. Semien has really turned it on offensively of late to turn out an even better Triple-A statistical line than last year. He's reached based 21 times in the last 10 games and homered in each of the last three in Charlotte. The year has still been a hit to the prospect status, due to what we saw of how the sausage of super minor league stats get made.
Beyond getting a shot at snatching the second base job by way of being healthy and present, or finally muscling Leury Garcia out of the utility spot, Semien has played just three out of his last 31 games in the outfield. It'll be interesting to see if the Sox have any interest in exploring that level of his versatility.
This qualifies as a feature of September call-ups, even if it's not one in its own right. Sierra is on the DL, conveniently right until rosters expand on the 1st.
Just as good of a place to stuff those spare corner outfield at-bats might be Sierra, since that would mean it's not Dayan Viciedo. Most of Sierra's success this year has come against lefties and by way of swinging like mad, but that only differentiates him from Viciedo in that there is any success at all. Since he can at least energetically, if still somewhat clumsily, defend a position, it would be nice to see if he could gobble up any of the starts against left-handers Viciedo currently owns.
It might be easier to predict Wilkins' future if it was possible to discern how the White Sox feel about Adam Dunn. They've been out of contention for the better part of two seasons while Dunn's value has steadily depreciated and the expiration of his contract has steadily neared, yet they've shown little inclination to move him or investigate his replacement while he publicly ponders retirement.
Wilkins isn't on the 40-man, but is finally having the big power outburst that is required of any actual first base prospect. Wilkins has also stopped walking almost entirely while smacking 29 home runs, but he's also shown no platoon split this year, even though he'd likely need plenty of help in that regard in the majors. With Dunn coming off the books, there should be a lot of curiosity in cheap replacements, but Wilkins has not gotten the Sox rush treatment at any point in his career. There could be plenty of reason for that.
He's around and he's hitting Triple-A again. There's no real reason to not have a third catcher up during September call-ups, but if Phegley curiosity wasn't enough to overcome the lowest depths of Tyler Flowers' slumps and Adrian Nieto learning on the job in some of the most literal ways ever, it doesn't speak strongly to his future role.
There's no real reason to think he's equipped to put major league pitching in play, but the beat writers are talking about him since he's not being completely poleaxed by Triple-A. I suppose he's an option if one gets tired of playing Jordan Danks and wants to see more strikeouts.
He'll certainly be back. I just hope he doesn't pitch very much.
He's already here?! Oh, who knew. Well, he's been much better.
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