GLENDALE, Ariz. — In a move that provided closure to their outfield picture Thursday, the White Sox optioned Ryan Cordell to Class AAA Charlotte, one of four moves made by the club a week before opening day.
The Sox also reassigned right-handers Rob Scahill and Chris Volstad and prized outfield prospect Luis Robert to minor-league camp.
While Cordell, acquired from the Brewers in the trade for right-hander Anthony Swarzak last offseason, made a good showing this spring, the decision to get him more at-bats in the minors — he does not have major-league experience — was not a surprise for a roster that will house 13 pitchers. That leaves three bench spots, which more than likely will be occupied by outfielder-infielder Leury Garcia, infielder Tyler Saladino and catcher Omar Narvaez.
Nicky Delmonico in left field, Adam Engel in center and Avisail Garcia in right will open the season. Cordell competed with Engel for the center-field job or as a fourth outfielder and batted .317/.417/.512 with four doubles and two triples. Engel, who batted .166 for the Sox while playing above-average defense last season, defended his spot by showing improvement at the plate, batting .364/.429/.682 with four homers in 17 games.
Manager Rick Renteria liked Cordell’s skill set (some power and good speed) from the first day he saw him in camp.
“We think he’s a major-league baseball player,” Renteria said. “We need him to get some more at-bats down at Triple-A. He impressed everyone in camp.’’
Volstad, who did not allow a run in seven games covering 11 innings during spring training, could fill a spot in the starting rotation at Charlotte.
Scahill (3.38 ERA) pitched well, too, striking out 11 and walking two in 10‰ innings and eight appearances.
Robert will play at one or both of the Class A levels this season. He is out with a sprained left thumb and is expected back in May.
In the bullpen
The Sox have 32 players remaining in major-league camp, including 18 pitchers, five of whom are non-roster invitees — Hector Santiago, Robbie Ross Jr., Jeanmar Gomez, Bruce Rondon and Xavier Cedeno — who have pitched well enough to be considered for a spot in the eight-man bullpen. Santiago appears to be a sure bet to make the team as a reliever and spot starter, while the others are on the bubble in the last days of camp.
As good as the non-roster invitees have pitched, it stands to reason that right-handers Nate Jones, Joakim Soria, Danny Farquhar, Juan Minaya and Gregory Infante and left-handers Luis Avilan, Aaron Bummer and Santiago won’t be bumped off the team.
This and that
Leury Garcia took a second day for a personal matter and is expected back Friday.
† Catcher Kevan Smith, whose sprained ankle wasn’t helping his chances to beat out Narvaez for the backup-catcher job, is making a swift recovery, taking part in hitting and other activities.
† The Sox are wearing T-shirts with a circled “27” on the back. It’s all about playing hard for 27 outs.
“That’s what it stands for,’’ Renteria said. ‘‘It’s a White Sox in-house thing, and now it’s on the outside. We had those made.”
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