The White Sox are set to select the contract of veteran outfielder Billy Hamilton, reports Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times. He had an opt-out clause in his minor league deal, so he’ll be called up in order to prevent him from pursuing new opportunities in free agency. The Sox are also preparing to activate infielders Tim Anderson and Hanser Alberto from the 10-day injured list. A slate of corresponding moves will be forthcoming, though a 40-man roster move isn’t necessary for Hamilton. The Sox have an open spot after outrighting pitcher A.J. Alexy late last week.
Hamilton, 32, spent the 2021 season with the White Sox, hitting .220/.242/.378 in 135 trips to the plate. That small sample of work at the plate was spread over the life of 71 games, reflecting Hamilton’s usage as a frequent pinch-runner and late-game defensive replacement. That’s the role the former top prospect has settled into since departing Cincinnati, where he was the starting center fielder for a half decade but never managed to develop enough bat to match his elite speed and defensive aptitude. He’s begun the 2023 season with a .188/.328/.271 slash in 59 Triple-A plate appearances.
Over the past four years, Hamilton has logged close to a full season’s worth of plate appearances (547) but mustered only a tepid .206/.263/.289 batting line with a 28% strikeout rate. He’s still swiped 47 bags in that time despite the infrequency with which he reaches base. Defensive metrics have long touted his glove in center field; in 6766 career innings he’s been credited with 73 Defensive Runs Saved, a 57.2 Ultimate Zone Rating and 58 Outs Above Average.
As a team, the White Sox rank 26th in the Majors with -12 DRS and 21st with -4 OAA. Unlike last season, the outfield hasn’t been a major culprit, thanks to the presence of a healthy Luis Robert Jr., the newly signed Andrew Benintendi. Prospect Oscar Colas has been the primary option in right field and graded out less successfully, however, and his bat hasn’t produced anywhere close to the levels hoped yet (.211/.265/.276 in 84 plate appearances).
Van Schouwen adds that outfielder Adam Haseley is expected to remain with the club, so it’s possible the Sox either have an injury in the outfield or are planning to give Colas some additional development time in Triple-A after a rough start to his season. However it plays out, Hamilton will give them a top-tier defender and elite speed off the bench for as long as he’s with the team.
It appears Plan B has kicked in.
So 3 roster moves need to be made. Anyone care to speculate? My guess is 3 current/former top -5 Sox prospects.
You hate to loose him. Especially for the playoffs. Smirk!! And don’t forget his promise and trade value in 3 months.
Backup OF of Sheets, Haseley and Hamilton. What could possibly go wrong?
In: Billy, TA, Alberto
Out: Sosa, Colas, Romy
You can’t send sosa and Romy down because you won’t have a backup 2b/SS.
Huh? TA plays SS, Andrus plays 2B (serves as backup SS, and then you have Alberto who can backup 2B and SS.
Although, I wouldn’t be shocked if it’s Colas and then an IL stint to Robert or Benintendi with Romy staying as bench depth.
You can’t send sosa and Romy down because you won’t have a backup 2b/shirt stop .
You can’t send sosa and Romy down because you won’t have a backup 2b/short stop .
Lenyn Sosa was optioned to AAA Charlotte yesterday. Tim Anderson and Hanser Alberto will be reinstated from the IL today. Two more moves need to be made, likely at least one more option to AAA and/or an IL stint for a current OF.
If one more option is done today, it figures to be either Romy Gonzalez or Oscar Colas. If no IL stint is forthcoming, they could each be optioned. Best guess as to an IL stint would be an outfielder, either Luis Robert or Andrew Benintendi.
Don’t be surprised if a pitching bullpen move is forthcoming. It’s possible Reynaldo Lopez could be headed for the IL with his “tired’ right shoulder. Other possibilities include a DFA of an ineffective veteran reliever of which there are many. Jake Diekman would be my top candidate. I can’t wait until Liam Hendriks and Garrett Crochet return later this month.
I’m hoping Colas goes down to play every day. Lately, he has been sitting more than playing over last 2 weeks.
So Billy is the cure for what ails them?
Nope. Season is ovah!!!
Love the White Sox, don’t understand their fron office. Billy Hamilton, really?
@BigB_ Really. Not only is Hamilton an awesome defender, better, imo, than Robert, and a blazing fast runner, he also brings a lively, outgoing presence to a team that can use it.
Here is the problem for the White Sox and Hamilton:
To use speed on the bases, you have to get on base.
To properly utilize a defensive replacement, you have to have a lead to protect.
The Sox can get on base they just have trouble scoring. Countless times I’ve watched them load the bases and come up empty.
Bully Hamilton cannot. That was the point.
Yeah… It’s concerning that back in December the conversation went like this:
“So we’re all agreed. We’re going with Colas in RF. And If something’s totally crazy happens and our star prospect can’t replicate his AA numbers for us, we’ll go with Billy Hamilton.”
Seriously? Was hoping this article was excerpted from Babylon Bee.
Billy Hamilton screams desperation.
He brings virtually nothing but his speed to the table.
I.e. if he’s not setting that table, it doesn’t really help to bring speed to it.
Play the Game
Colas, Sosa, Gonzalez going to the Minors is my guess
Play the Game: That’s where they should be.
Lenyn Sosa was optioned to AAA on Monday per the White Sox official website: mlb.com/whitesox/roster/transactions
Getting ready for that new pinch runner rule ahead of time?
and whom are you suggesting get on base to invoke this rule?
Here comes the “Luis Robert really had a hamstring issue” story….
It would be a better reason than “Luis Robert becomes yet another member of the Sox dogging it to 1b.”
My guess is short-term replacement for somebody, followed by a DFA. Billy would probably go unclaimed, whereas Marisnick might, big might, have been claimed given that he can make contact sometime, and play defense and has speed. Not Hamilton speed, but above average.
Is today April 1?
I wonder why they didn’t just let him exercise his opt-out.
My guess is his plus-speed and plus-defense outweighs the bat and the white sox are known to struggle on defense.
I’m also guessing he doesn’t start every day
.188 at AAA, he’ll fit right in…. Another useless player that cannot hit.
Is one of Manfraud’s new rules that you can now steal first base?
I don’t know about that but Ron LeFlore was asked I there were any ballplayers in prison better than him. He wouldn’t name the guy but Ron said he could steal anything.
Does anybody remember that made-for-TV movie starring LeVar Burton as LeFlore. I thought it was pretty good but I was also 12.
My prediction Every time he gets on first he’ll get at least one stolen base
I love Billy Hamilton. He’s a subtly valuable player if he can get on base and he’s got a really entertaining presence.
“If he can get on base”, “If everyone stays healthy”, “If Colas can make the jump from AA to MLB”, “If Colas doesn’t work, maybe Billy Hamilton might work”, “If Moncada, Giolito, Lynn, Clevinger, Grandal, Kelly, Diekman, Robert can bounce back”. “If Andrus, Vaughn, Sheets and Kopech and Eloy can have career years.”
Not a great way to run an organization
Lotta ifs there.
Crippling Kipling approach to be sure.
Can you imagine taking a month or longer just to explore, “What’s the problem”
He can’t get on base, though. That’s the entire problem.
Sigh… Follow the thread from my comment down.
Sigh….. sigh…. siiiiiiigggggggghhhhhhhhh
I was responding to TrillionaireTeamOperator
Sorry. It should have been obvious that was a possibility. Mea culpa
Guy’s raking in AAA. Raking the grass as a member of the maintenance crew.
I’ll be here all week.
I really hope he keeps getting added to MLB rosters for 20 game stretches well into his 40s. Billy is an inspiration for optimizing what skills you do have. Run Billy Run!
White Sox already having a meltdown… feel bad for the fans their stadium atmosphere is amazing.
The White Sox will always be operating under the hope and pray method of team building.
It’s no surprise that none of their young players have been good because they’re never ready or prepared for big league success. They are usually rushed and with little in the way of a back up plan when they, inevitably, fail.
They’ve been good…they just haven’t been able to be consistently good. Or good at the same time.
Billy Hamilton has been with so many teams trying to harness that talent, I completely forgot he was originally with the Cincinnati Reds after all this time. Good luck in Chicago… round 2!
This one belongs to the Reds
Good for Billy.
Liked the guy, always wished he would figure it out as a player (hit the ball on the ground, learn to bunt).
When you are calling up a guy that hasn’t played consistently in the majors since 2019 and stunk then your team is in some serious trouble.
Especially one that is hitting .188 in AAA. Muy Patetico.
White Sox sure made a flurry of roster moves today. 10 moves plus putting Kelly on the paternity list.
How is Billy still in the majors? Guy can’t hit worth a dang. This has to be his 6th team since Cincy let him go. Geez oh mighty, hang up those cleats and join a Sunday league already
Just looked 8 teams with a second go around with the white Sox.
The White Sox just totally confuse me.
I have to admit I do not understand the continued fascination MLB teams have with Billy Hamilton. He’s pretty much a zero WAR guy, yet he consistently gets time at the MLB level. I mean… I guess if you’re trying to avoid starting the clock on a legitimate prospect, Hamilton protects service time from potentially valuable young core players, but that’s not the situation for the White Sox and Hamilton is not going to help a team make the playoffs.
This man has made a pretty good career out of not being able to hit a lick.
Herb Washington is coming out of retirement to play for the Soxs . Yes you heard it right. Just ran into him at McDonald’s as I was eating a Big Mac ! He said Jerry reached out to him and asked if he was interested. I was sporting my 1974 Sal Bando jersey so he knew I meant business. By the way the fries were a bit cold
So they have about 5 DH’s and now a DR? Great roster depth