Right-hander Juan Minaya has cleared waivers and been assigned outright to Triple-A Charlotte by the White Sox, thus opening a spot on the team’s 40-man roster. The Athletic’s James Fegan tweets that Minaya’s velocity has dipped “noticeably” in recent outings, and the righty has struggled through a series of poor relief appearances this spring (11 runs in 4 2/3 innings). Beyond Minaya, the Sox also reassigned non-roster invitee Randall Delgado to minor league camp, ending the former D-backs right-hander’s bid to make the Opening Day roster.
Minaya, 28, has been a consistent presence in the White Sox’ bullpen over the past two seasons, pitching to a combined 3.89 earned run average while averaging 10.9 strikeouts and 4.9 walks per nine innings pitched. He briefly served as the team’s closer in 2017, tallying nine saves in that role, and has generally been a solid reliever for the Sox — albeit an erratic one in terms of control. Minaya averaged 95 mph on his heater last season and has posted an 11.5 percent swinging-strike rate across the past two years, though it seems some of that velocity has disappeared in camp.
Minaya’s subtraction from the 40-man roster doesn’t necessarily indicate that the White Sox are on the verge of any sort of signing. Veteran righty Ervin Santana, in camp with the White Sox on a minor league contract, is widely expected to claim a spot in the rotation and now has a clear path to be added to the roster. If that indeed plays out, he’ll reportedly earn a $4.3MM salary in 2019.
As for Delgado, the 29-year-old was a useful bullpen piece himself for the Diamondbacks from 2015-17 when he notched a 3.79 ERA with 8.6 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 over the life of 209 2/3 innings. (He also mixed in six starts along the way.) A significant oblique strain wiped out more than half of his 2018 season, however, and he managed just 11 1/3 innings with more walks (six) than strikeouts (five) before being designated for assignment.