The White Sox have outrighted hurler Dylan Covey to Triple-A Charlotte, per the International League transactions page. Covey has been outrighted before, so he’ll be allowed to decline the assignment in favor of free agency if he wants. It’s unclear if that will happen.
The right-handed Covey lost his spot on Chicago’s 40-man roster when the team designated him Jan. 14 to clear space for newly signed reliever Steve Cishek. Covey had been a fairly regular option in the White Sox’s pitching staff over the previous three seasons, but his time in the majors hasn’t gone well.
So far, Covey has combined for 250 1/3 innings (63 appearances, 45 starts) of 6.54 ERA/5.57 FIP ball in the bigs. Despite boasting a fastball that averages upward of 94 mph, Covey has struggled to limit home runs (1.62 per nine) and miss bats, having fanned just over six hitters per nine while walking more than four. Dating back to 2017, his K/BB ratio (1.52) ranks fifth worst among 193 pitchers who have thrown at least 200 innings.
While Covey has made double-digit starts in each of his three MLB seasons, he almost certainly won’t total that many in 2020 even if he does remain with the White Sox organization. The club has been aggressive in upgrading its rotation this winter, having signed southpaws Dallas Keuchel and Gio Gonzalez. They’re part of a group that should also include a mix of Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Dylan Cease, Michael Kopech and Carlos Rodon (when he returns from Tommy John surgery) during the upcoming season.
Regardless of whether Covey sticks with his current franchise, it appears he’ll have to improve his stock in the minors. The 28-year-old has been quite effective in Triple-A ball, where he owns a 2.63 ERA with 7.9 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 95 2/3 frames.