The White Sox announced Friday that they’ve activated both Avisail Garcia and Leury Garcia from the disabled list. In order to clear roster space, infielder Jose Rondon has been optioned to Triple-A Charlotte, while outfielder Trayce Thompson has been designated for assignment.
Chicago has been without Avisail Garcia since April 23 thanks to a hamstring strain that proved severe enough to sideline him for almost two months. The slightly younger of the two Garcias activated today (he turned 27 last week shortly before embarking on a minor league rehab assignment), Avisail was off to a slow start prior to his injury, hitting .233/.250/.315 with no walks and 17 strikeouts in 76 plate appearances.
Of course, he’s also fresh off a breakout 2017 season in which he raked at a .330/.380/.506 clip, hitting 18 homers, 27 doubles and five triples along the way. A .380 BABIP undoubtedly contributed to that breakout to an extent, but Garcia’s career-best hard-contact rates and a .359 xwOBA lent some legitimacy to the breakout, even if he’s likely to regress a bit from last year’s pace.
As for Leury Garcia, he’ll return nearly a month due to a sprained left knee. The South Side Swiss army knife has seen action at every position aside from catcher since debuting in 2013 (including two innings of relief pitching), though he’s settled in primarily as an outfielder over the past couple of seasons. He was hitting .262/.308/.369 with a pair of homers and nine steals at the time of his injury. The return of both Garcias should will cut into playing time for each of Daniel Palka, Charlie Tilson and Adam Engel. Matt Davidson, too, could see fewer at-bats for the time being now that there’s a more crowded mix at DH.
Thompson, meanwhile, is being designated for assignment for the fourth time since Spring Training. After being designated by the Dodgers, he made his way from the Yankees to the A’s to the White Sox — the club that originally selected him in the second round of the 2009 draft. Unfortunately for Thompson, his return to the ChiSox didn’t prove to be productive. In 130 trips to the plate back with his original team, Thompson limped to a .116/.153/.215 batting line. He did provide some heroics in his return tour, launching a walk-off homer against the Twins back in early May, but his overall lack of production proved too great to hang onto his roster spot.
The Sox will have a week to trade Thompson or run him throughout outright waivers. He’s yet to clear waivers at any point in his career, though this current lackluster showing could allow the Sox to pass him through unclaimed and outright him back to Charlotte.