Manager Rick Renteria did not start Ryan Cordell in the Sox’ game against the Tigers Monday afternoon, but he said he wants to see what Cordell can do in center field.
“That’s what he’s here to do,” Renteria said of the 26-year-old outfielder who was called up from Class AAA Charlotte Monday. “He can also spell us in the corners. But when we first got him it was as a center fielder and we’re going to give him an opportunity to see us. [Adam Engel] is doing a great job, not to take anything away from Engey, but we have 25 or so games left.
“We [want] guys who can cover ground, [Cordell] has a pretty good stride out there. Defending is one of the biggest thing we’re looking for. At the same time, we’ll also give him some at-bats.”
Cordell, who has no major league experience, is batting .246 with four home runs, 26 RBI eight stolen bases in 51 combined games this season with Charlotte, the Arizona League White Sox and Class AA Birmingham. He appeared in 22 games in center field, 13 in right and six in left with the Knights.
General manager Rick Hahn said the Sox will also call up right-hander Jose Ruiz, who is ranked 24th among Sox prospects by MLB Pipeline. A former catcher, Ruiz, 23, was claimed on waivers and pitched to a 3.18 ERA at Birmingham this season, averaging 11 strikeouts per nine innings (and 3.77 walks).
Acquired last July from the Brewers in exchange for right-hander Anthony Swarzak, the 6-foot-4, 205-pound Cordell impressed Renteria during spring training and went on the disabled list from April 17-July 23 with a broken right collarbone.
Cordell batted .268/.316/.413 in 34 games at Charlotte since returning from the injury, said he feels 100 percent healthy now.
“It’s an exciting group, it’s good to be coming in now when we’re playing good ball,” Cordell said of the Sox, who are playing their best baseball of the season. “I’m just excited to come in and be able to help out the team, whether it’s defensively or getting opportunities at the plate I’m going to do everything I can to be part of something special that’s going on here.”
The Sox outfield has been dinged up of late. Avisail Garcia is nursing a sore knee and Ryan LaMarre has a sore hip. Garcia is day to day and LaMarre is available Monday, Renteria said.
Cordell will wear uniform No. 49. The Sox active roster increases to 29.