The White Sox announced a handful of transactions before tonight’s series opener with the Rangers. The most notable was the recall of infield prospect José Rodriguez for his initial MLB promotion. Chicago also recalled reliever Nick Padilla, placed Lance Lynn on the bereavement list, and put Romy González on the 10-day injured list because of right shoulder inflammation.
Rodriguez, 22, is among the better prospects in a thin Chicago farm system. Baseball America slots him ninth in the organization, crediting him with roughly average physical tools across the board but expressing some concern about a free-swinging offensive approach. BA suggests he’s likely to settle in as a utility type. Keith Law of the Athletic wrote over the offseason that Rodriguez’s bat-to-ball skills could make him an everyday player, likely at second base.
While the Dominican Republic native might be a long-term regular, he’s not likely to step into that role immediately. Rodriguez gets the call directly from Double-A, where he’d been having a middling offensive season. Over 201 plate appearances in the Southern League, he’s hitting .238/.274/.429. Rodriguez has connected on nine home runs but is walking just 5% of the time while striking out in over a quarter of his plate appearances — easily the highest rate of his professional career.
In all likelihood, Rodriguez will find himself back in the minors before too long. He could make his big league debut in the interim, though, offering some middle depth for skipper Pedro Grifol behind the starting duo of Tim Anderson and Elvis Andrus. Added to the 40-man roster last winter to keep him out of the Rule 5 draft, Rodriguez is in his first of three minor league option seasons.