The White Sox announced today that they have purchased the contract of corner infielder Matt Skole. He’ll be joined on the active roster by Seby Zavala, who was called up with fellow catcher Welington Castillo going on the family medical emergency leave list.
Skole, who recently celebrated his thirtieth birthday, landed with the White Sox organization last year after running out his time with the Nationals club. Though he earned a brief chance at a MLB debut, Skole spent the bulk of the season in the upper minors — just as he had dating way back to 2013 — and lost his 40-man spot late in the season.
This year, Skole has boosted his output, though part of that reflects a rising International League offensive mean. Still, his .248/.384/.497 batting line reflects some real improvement. Skole has maintained his power (21 home runs) while improving his plate-discipline to levels he hasn’t managed since his time in the low minors (17.9% walk rate vs. 25.3% strikeout rate).
A left-handed hitter, Skole will likely function mostly as a bench bat and part-time DH. He has spent plenty of time at third base over his career, but has appeared primarily at first in recent seasons. If he appears in the field, it seems likeliest to come in occasional relief of regular first bagger Jose Abreu.
Now we know why Escobar was mad.
Because a better hitter was promoted instead of him?
Skole is a town in Lviv Oblast (region) of Ukraine. It is the administrative center of Skole Raion. Population: 6,312
This could not make any less sense. At this point, Hahn is just trolling the fans.
Robert is not quite ready. He has to perfect the right wrist motion necessary to sign an extension!
Skole, a left-handed hitting 1B to back up Abreu replacing A.J. Reed, a left-handed 1B to back up Abreu. Seems pretty straightforward to me. Would you rather keep watching Reed flailing at pitches every AB?
If you bring up Robert instead of Skole to replace Reed, who do you suggest backs up Abreu at 1B? Robert? Jimenez? Cordell? Engel? Goins? Jay? Garcia? Zavala? None of these guys have ever played 1B, now that would make no sense.
At this point, what’s it matter who gets brought up the rest of the year. The Sox won’t sniff .500 the rest of the year.
Big moves! They are prepping for a run!
The rebuild is complete.
This is clearly a reach. Hahn must be under some pressure for Jerry.
to lose more? He doesn’t want “pressure” to spend anymore
Maybe Hahn is going by last years trade rules and wants to showcase our AAAA players?!
Skole just tied up the ball game in the 9th at Philly!! Pinch hit clutch hit!
Welcome to the Sox!
Ricky’s boys don’t quit!
So funny Aaron Sopznk calls this year 3 of Sox rebuild when they haven’t had a winning season since 2012. Much less make the playoffs. Reinsdorf has a funny definition of what competing means.
Are you suggesting that AaronSapoznik is in fact Jerry Reinsdorf?
Aaron has some of the most well thought out and unbiased comments on here. With that being said he’s probably smarter than Reinsdorf
anyone is. hes a snake and a jerk. billionaire who cant spend a fraction of what he makes on the team year in year out. $h!t or get off the throne
Competing means a profitable balance sheet to Reinsdorf. Nothing else matters that cheapskate
Skole finally paying dividends for the Nats
White Sox should be tanking the rest of this season and in no world should the names of Madrigal or Robert even be spoken re: a call up in Sept. Would it surprise anyone if someone told you Hahn was told to cut some payroll at the deadline to pay for the unbudgeted extended netting?
While I can see them looking to tank again and get their last top 10 draft pick before their competitive window opens up makes sense; Reinsdorf saying they have to budget for anything including netting it’s flat stupid.
You probably think that ketchup belongs on hot dogs, Steve Bartman lost the Cubs the NLCS, Chicago is a really expensive and dangerous city, and that Mike Ditka is a good coach.
Seriously? With that logic would you also suggest that the Cubs won’t help protect their larger trove of fans because they are struggling to keep from treading too deep into luxury tax waters?
Just because the far more wealthy Ricketts family wanted to play the MLB service time game with Kris Bryant doesn’t necessarily mean that Jerry Reinsdorf will with his group of MLB ready players. When Rick Hahn wouldn’t promote Eloy Jimenez late last summer it may have been over service time concerns but it might have also been because Jimenez still wasn’t a finished product, especially with his defense. It became a moot point when Jimenez was offered an unprecedented MLB contract extension before he even saw his first PA with the White Sox, something the Cubs never did with Bryant or any other club had done with virtually any prospect for that matter.
Bryant and his agent Scott Boras still have memories of that Cub strategy and it will probably come back to bite the front office in the behind come 2022 when the slugging 3B opts for free agency. The White Sox don’t have the same resources that the Cubs have but they do know how to play the “goodwill” game with their young players considering all of the team-friendly deals they have inked including those given to Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, Adam Eaton, Anderson and Jimenez. My guess is that fiscal strategy will continue with the likes of Yoan Moncada, Robert, Madrigal and Andrew Vaughn when the time comes.
As for tanking, White Sox fans have seen enough and I’m sure that the front office and JR have as well. Whatever the final W-L record will be in 2019, it will be better than the one from year two of the rebuild in 2018. Most White Sox fans and the organization expect 2019 to be the final year of the rebuild with 2020 the beginning of better times.
I expect the White Sox to be bigger players this offseason than last, be it in free agency or trade acquisitions. This winter will see the White Sox attempt to fill their final few missing pieces in the big puzzle. They will also identify which prospects remain as their foundation pieces and begin to move others to shore up organizational weaknesses including those on their MLB roster.
They are tanking, you didn’t notice?
White Sox fans should take a deep breath and relax over these moves.
Wellington Castillo is expected back from his family medical emergency on Monday. Seby Zavala was recalled instead of Zack Collins because of the short term need for a backup catcher this weekend. Collins will get the call when a longer term opening occurs such as an injury to James McCann or Castillo or a potential DFA for the latter later this summer. The White Sox have too much class to DFA Castillo at this point in time.
As for Matt Skole, his left-handed bat will replace A.J. Reeds’ as Jose Abreu’s backup at 1B for the time being. He may see some PA’s at DH as well versus right-handed pitching. Skole will also provide some depth at 3B with Yoan Moncada on the IL for a couple of weeks. The latter point probably gave Skole the advantage over Daniel Palka.
Most White Sox fans including your’s truly want to see the front office promote CF Luis Robert and 2B Nick Madrigal at some point in 2019. Collins, another potential core piece should be a cinch for a promotion no later than September 1st when the rosters can expand.
Robert and Madrigal are less certain for their MLB debuts but many of us would prefer they get in some valuable playing time in 2019 instead of starting from scratch in 2020. MLB service time might be a priority for the front office but we’ve all witnessed the early struggles of other core pieces like Tim Anderson, Moncada, Eloy Jimenez as well as Collins earlier this season. If the White Sox hope to contend in 2020 it might behoove them to let Robert and Madrigal get adjusted to MLB pitching sooner rather than later.
Great insight. You should be the Sox go-to-guy for MLBTR
That is exactly what he’s going for in every single Sox-related post on this site.
I have a feeling Luis Robert will be rookie of the year in 2020.
Too late to tank. They are pretty much in that 6th-10th pick range. The reason to get the talented guys up are to let them struggle when it doesn’t matter and know what to work on this offseason. If they keep up these hold backs, next year it’ll be don’t promote Vaughn late 2020 and make each following season less likely to be successful. Frugality like this played a role in losing “lottery” prospect Tatis Jr…….but they got those Pads to pay more of Shields contract salary!
I disagree. While I think Luis Robert could play CF at the MLB level now most of their other prospects cannot. More to the point, when the White Sox traded Tatis Jr. in 2016 he was unranked as a prospect by everyone in baseball and the Sox were in a win now mode, atop the AL Central 2 month’s into the season.
When they are actually competitive, Madrigal, Vaughn, or anyone else will be able to be brought up as needed. But why do it now?
Not sure what you mean w/Robert not coming up to play CF. We want him to be and stick there. The other farm OFs will be battling for RF/bench or some ultimately enticing trade bait for veterans to fill holes. Doubt I was alone at the time not wanting a declining Shields who had so many miles as a workhorse in Tampa even before SD….and for a very smoke and mirrors club early that season.
Personal opinion is the WSox won’t be competitive until after the young bats like this go through their struggles anyhow just like Moncada did and Eloy is……and of course simultaneously the challenge of seeing which young starters will emerge as consistent/healthy enough.
You don’t wait Because delaying player development narrows the competitive window and wastes service time for guys already on roster.
Almost no player comes up, rakes or pitches well and doesn’t suffer from a regression. See Moncada and Lopez. Heck, see Trout.
Call them up now, invest in player development, and stop worrying about what will happen with contracts five years from now.