The White Sox announced that they have selected the contract of right-hander Declan Cronin. They have plenty of open roster spots after dealing Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo López to the Angels, Lance Lynn and Joe Kelly to the Dodgers and Kendall Graveman to the Astros.
Cronin, 25, was a 36th-round selection of the White Sox in 2019. He’s been climbing through their system since then, working exclusively as a reliever except for a one-inning stint as an opener. He got some brief professional experience in 2019 but the minor leagues were canceled by the pandemic in 2020.
Since then, he’s gone from High-A to Double-A to Triple-A, generally posting low strikeout totals but getting heaps of ground balls. He’s tossed 143 innings since the start of 2021 with a 4.09 ERA. His 18.6% strikeout rate is a few ticks below typical major league averages, while his 9.9% walk rate is slightly on the high side. However, he’s posted a ground ball rate of 53.7% or higher at every stop of the minor league ladder. The major league average is 42.5% this year.
Cronin will now get a chance to try to get major league hitters out. The Sox are busily trading from their major league roster and should use the final few weeks of the season to get a look at various younger players. Jeff Passan of ESPN relayed an amusing story today about Cronin having a chess match interrupted by the news of his call-up.