The White Sox have placed right-hander Jake Petricka on the 15-day disabled list with a left hip impingement, the club announced. Petricka’s DL stint is retroactive to May 2, though there’s no immediate timetable for his return. The 27-year-old has battled control problems all season and is currently sporting a 4.50 ERA with eight walks against seven strikeouts in eight innings of work. Ugly as those numbers may be, a lengthy absence for Petricka would be no small blow to the Sox bullpen, as he’d previously worked to a very solid 3.24 ERA in 144 1/3 innings from 2013-15. Chicago announced that right-handers Tommy Kahnle and Erik Johnson have been recalled from Triple-A Charlotte to take the place of Petricka and left-hander John Danks, whose 10-year run with the Sox came to an end when the team designated him for assignment.
Here’s more from Chicago and the rest of the AL Central:
- Speaking of Danks’ pending release, the veteran southpaw told reporters, including MLB.com’s Scott Merkin, that he has no hard feelings toward the White Sox organization and is supportive of the team’s decision. “The way my April went and the way the team is playing, I can’t fault anybody with the decision they made,” said Danks. “It’s a win-now league, and I wasn’t helping the team win. You can’t go out there with four-fifths of a rotation. I totally understand that. It all starts with pitching.” Danks heaped praise onto the clubhouse environment and the camaraderie felt among the Sox players, wishing his former teammates luck and thanking the organization in a gracious exit. “I’m a Sox fan for sure,” he said.
- Tigers GM Al Avila admits that third baseman Nick Castellanos, who is in his third big league season despite just recently turning 24, may have been rushed to the Major Leagues, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports in his latest notes column. “Nick got to the big leagues very quickly, being a high-school draft [pick],” Avila told Rosenthal. “… I don’t think he really, fully understood the game. He got there because of his ability and an organizational need we had at the big-league level. … He ended up completing his development at the major-league level.” Avila’s comments come on the heels of what many believe could be the beginning of a breakout campaign for Castellanos, who is hitting a robust .378/.385/.589 this year. Castellanos’ production, though, is being propped up to a large extent by a .455 average on balls in play. That number figures to regress substantially, which will in turn magnify an unflattering 23-to-3 K/BB ratio through his first 96 plate appearances. Nonetheless, Castellanos has seen notable gains in his line-drive rate, hard-contact rate and homer-to-flyball ratio, so while some of the huge upswing in production is smoke and mirrors, there does appear to be some legitimate growth as well. He’ll still need to improve his discipline and still rates as a poor defender at third, but there is indeed reason for some optimism surrounding the former top prospect.
- The Tigers’ rotation costs more than five times that of the division-rival Indians’ rotation, observes MLive.com’s Chris Iott, who provides a breakdown of the cost of starting pitching throughout the AL Central. The significant sum that the team is spending isn’t lost on GM Al Avila, who implies to Iott that he’s focused on making that unit more cost-effective in the years to come. “It’s very important to develop your own pitching,” said Avila. “You can’t trade for a five-man rotation. You can’t sign five free agents. It’ll cost you an arm and a leg.” Those comments, some might say, run counter to the manner in which Avila acted this offseason when he signed Jordan Zimmerman (five years, $110MM) and Mike Pelfrey (two years, $16MM). However, Avila also revealed that he persistently received calls regarding prospects Michael Fulmer and Daniel Norris this winter but was quick to turn away interested parties, believing each to be a key part of the organization’s future. “Those young pitchers are gold to us,” said Avila.
- Over at Fangraphs, August Fagerstrom lays out the case that Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor is the best in all of baseball. Simply put, Lindor has been the more valuable contributor than fellow young star Carlos Correa since both debuted, with the former’s large advantage on defense more than making up for the latter’s slight offensive edge. Of course, that’s looking at what’s already happened, and it takes much more to assess what we ought to expect moving forward. Projections still prefer Correa’s bat, notes Fagerstrom, so one needs to buy into Lindor’s improvements at the plate and his ability to sustain a high BABIP in order to think he can keep pace with his peer from Houston (and other viable contenders for the crown).