The White Sox have placed right-hander Jonathan Stiever on the 60-day injured list, the team announced. Chicago also claimed southpaw Yoan Aybar off waivers from the Yankees, just days after the Yankees themselves claimed Aybar off waivers from the Rockies.
Aybar’s velocity and strikeout potential got him as high as the Rockies’ Double-A affiliate last season, though he is still very much a work in progress as a pitcher, after converting to the mound from the outfield prior to the 2018 season. As a hurler, Aybar has a 5.06 ERA and a 14.62% walk rate over 131 2/3 minor league innings, with a 24.9% strikeout rate.
The White Sox don’t have much left-handed depth in their bullpen beyond Aaron Bummer and Garrett Crochet, and the team has made a point of adding several southpaws to their Spring Training camp as non-roster invitees. Aybar probably isn’t likely to be on the radar for a big league promotion, but he’ll add more depth in the minors and perhaps serve as a project.
Stiever underwent lat surgery back in August and was initially expected to be ready for Spring Training, though the 60-day IL placement gives him more time to get fully healthy. Stiever was a fifth-round pick for the White Sox in the 2018 draft, and he has already gotten a brief taste of the majors, albeit in the form of three games and 6 1/3 innings over the last two seasons. Over 247 IP in Chicago’s farm system, Stiever has a 4.26 ERA and 26.86% strikeout rate, starting all 56 of his games. Once fully recovered, Stiever projects as a depth starter or potential bullpen long man for the Sox later in the season.