Former big leaguers Gorkys Hernandez and Christian Friedrich were among the White Sox’ wave of minor league releases, per Chris Hilburn-Trenkle of Baseball America. Both had signed minor league deals with the South Siders over the winter.
Hernandez, 32, has logged time in the big leagues in each of the past five season — mostly with the Giants. He’s appeared at all three outfield spots and generally been a solid defender, but he’s mustered only a .237/.296/.361 batting line in 918 plate appearances during that time. Hernandez’s deal didn’t include a Major League Spring Training invite, so he’d been signed purely for depth purposes.
Friedrich, also 32, joined the Sox in hopes of returning to the Majors for the first time since 2016. The former first-round pick (No. 25 to the Rockies in ’08) was once considered to be among baseball’s very best pitching prospects but never found any success with the Rockies (5.81 ERA in 167 1/3 innings) before being released in 2016.
Friedrich latched on with the Padres and tossed 123 1/3 frames with a career-best 4.80 ERA that season. Lat injuries wiped out his 2017-18 seasons, though, and he split the 2019 season between the independent Atlantic League’s New Britain Bees and the Korea Baseball Organization’s NC Dinos. Friedrich actually threw quite well for both teams (3.00 ERA in 11 starts with the Bees and 2.75 in 12 starts with the Dinos).