The White Sox have released outfielder Michael Saunders, per an announcement from their top affiliate. Top prospect Eloy Jimenez was promoted to Triple-A Charlotte, among other roster moves.
Saunders, 31, has struggled to gain traction this year after a miserable 2017 season. Through 51 plate appearances in the White Sox organization, he managed only a .152/.235/.239 slash, which was only marginally worse than he slashed earlier this year for the Orioles’ top affiliate.
At this point, Saunders is going to have a tough time finding extended opportunities at the highest level of the minors. But he’s still not far removed from a strong 2016 MLB campaign, so surely some team will pick him up.
Fans of the South Siders will take greater notice of the Jimenez promotion, though perhaps they’d prefer to see him moving all the way onto the MLB roster. The 21-year-old had already reached the Double-A level last year, and has mashed there again in 2018 to the tune of a .317/.368/.556 slash with ten home runs in 228 trips to the plate.
Jimenez, of course, is widely considered one of the game’s very best prospects. While we’re reaching the point in the season when contractual considerations no longer pose as significant a barrier to a promotion — with only 102 service-eligible days left in the season, there’s no worry of setting up Super Two status — the Chicago organization is still taking things relatively slowly with Jimenez.
“Saunders …. so surely some team will pick him up.”
I can’t think of any good reason for that outcome. The Phillies (wizard team of MacPhail/Klentak) took care of his retirement.
agreed, that’s probably it for him. Maybe he’ll head out to Asia. It’s the only way I see him having another opportunity.
Spring Training beast in 2012 who two years later looked like he would finally put it all together. Alas, all he could manage in Toronto were spurts of productivity and about the same level of productivity for the Blue Jays as Travis Snider.
Ty Cobb's Dentures
It is time to go play for the SK Wyverns or KT Wiz of the KBO League.
The writing was already on the wall for Michael Saunders who hadn’t even appeared in a game at AAA Charlotte with the White Sox requiring OF spots for rehabbing Avisail Garcia and Leury Garcia. Both Garcia’s will be promoted to the White Sox active roster as soon as this weekend while Eloy Jimenez will patrol a corner for the Knights before his eventual promotion to the South Side later this summer.
Struggling OF Trayce Thompson looks to be a roster casualty once the Garcia’s are activated. It will be interesting to see if the White Sox simply release Thompson or try to get him through waivers in order to keep him at AAA as an insurance policy this summer.
He’s a pretty poor insurance policy.
Yet he keeps getting claimed on waivers, oh the temptation of potential
No doubt but the White Sox will be lacking sufficient CF depth at AAA once Leury Garcia is activated from his rehab assignment. Only Jacob May would be considered a defensive CF and none were promoted from AA among their three promotions that included corner OF Eloy Jimenez, C Seby Savala and relief pitcher Ian Hamilton.
For the time being, it would appear that Charlie Tilson and Adam Engel will platoon in CF on the South Side with Leury Garcia joining the mix this weekend. Avisail Garcia will return as the primary RF while Daniel Palka moves back to LF versus RHP while also sharing some DH time with Matt Davidson. Switch-hitting Leury Garcia will probably start in LF versus a southpaw and also share time in CF with Tilson if Engel also becomes a roster casualty. After all, two spots will be required on the active roster when both Garcia’s are activated this weekend. If Engel is also sent back to AAA then Thompson would most certainly be a DFA release candidate.
Good summary of likely White Sox playing time decisions. Thanks!!
Thanks for sorting out the outfield. Let’s hope at least one or two of these fellows can provide some desperately needed pop at the plate. The Sox outfielders are sorely lacking at the dish. But they have good potential and are getting MLB experience. Eloy is very close and should continue playing regularly wherever he is.
There is little doubt that the White Sox starting OF will include both Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert by some time in 2020.
Jimenez profiles as a LF by most updated scouting reports and should make his MLB debut later this summer. He may even need to transition to 1B at some point if he continues to bulk up and lose speed in the OF.
Robert could easily play CF or RF with his plus arm and fielding grades, along with his plus plus speed.
The White Sox have a host of other top OF prospects including another top-100 one in Blake Rutherford who also hits left-handed. The White Sox could definitely use some help from the left side on their roster and system wide. Hopefully Rutherford will reach the ceiling projected of him when the Yankees drafted him out of high school in 2016
The possibility also remains that either of their current middle infielders, Tim Anderson or Yoan Moncada could make the transition to CF with their elite speed and athleticism.
Anderson will be given every opportunity to improve his consistency on defense since the White Sox are somewhat lacking with SS options. Recent first round draft pick Nick Madrigal was a more than adequate defensive SS at Oregon State until this season when he transitioned to 2B where he profiles best as a big leaguer because of his 5’8″ height.
The White Sox currently have Moncada at 2B but he could be moved to the OF or 3B to accommodate Madrigal who looks to be the future White Sox leadoff hitter, possibly as soon as late next season or by opening day in 2020. Madrigal is so advanced as a college player and hitter the White Sox are considering an A+ pro debut for him as soon as he finishes his run in the NCAA World Series tournament and signs his bonus in the next week or two.
All of this speculation could change as soon as this offseason if the White Sox make a serious run at one of the elite free agents. They certainly would have the salary space to outbid any other team for RF Bryce Harper, SS/3B Manny Machado or 3B Josh Donaldson if 82-year old owner Jerry Reinsdorf finally decides to put his money where his mouth is as he nears retirement and before he sells the team. His son Michael is an executive with the Bulls so it’s the White Sox who will likely be sold in the next 5-10 years. The “Chairman” may want to go out with a bang while also solidifying his position as Chicago’s most successful sport owner since George Halas.
Send Saunders to the Rangers
At least he was able to pocket 9 million off that one Rogers Centre created season
Not even a full season.. He was horrible in the second half, which was more in line with his pre-2016 output… Phillies didn’t care…Ended up releasing him after 200 at-bats.
I hate to think what the Arrieta, Santana, Tommy Hunter and Neshek contracts will look like at the end.
That rogers Centre season came off of Suanders spending the prior year recovering from injury, focussing on getting healthier and stronger.
it is no surprise to me that Saunders lit it up the first half of 2016. Strange thing though, he faded quickly. How does that happen? it is almost like his lightning fast swing of the first half of 2016 slowed down and disappeared.
Going into the year he was a bigtime free swinger. He came back with new approach. Was very patient.
He did have some luck early, but I think pitchers also adjusted to his new approach. Couple that with wearing out bit first year back and might have had perfect storm against in 2nd half