SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The White Sox made final roster cuts Tuesday, essentially setting an Opening Day roster that includes Andrew Vaughn, Yermin Mercedes, Zack Collins, Billy Hamilton, Jake Lamb and Jose Ruiz.
While Vaughn had been thought to be a near sure thing as the team’s designated hitter for most of camp, the other five above were anything but. Hamilton was acquired during camp and won a job thanks to openings created by injuries to outfielders Eloy Jimenez and Adam Engel, Lamb was signed Tuesday and Collins and Mercedes won jobs with good performances.
Reynaldo Lopez’s difficult spring and a season ending elbow injury to Jimmy Cordero created an opening for Ruiz. The roster will be made official after the team’s workout at Angel Stadium Wednesday in advance of Opening Day Thursday.
Starting rotation: Lucas Giolito, Dallas Keuchel, Lance Lynn, Dylan Cease, Carlos Rodon. Bullpen: Liam Hendriks, Aaron Bummer, Codi Heuer, Evan Marshall, Garrett Crochet, Michael Kopech, Matt Foster, Jose Ruiz.
Outfielders: Luis Robert, Adam Eaton, Hamilton.
Infielders: Yoan Moncada, Tim Anderson, Nick Madrigal, Jose Abreu, Vaughn, Lamb.
Catchers: Yasmani Grandal, Mercedes, Collins.
Utility: Leury Garcia.
The Sox released Jonathon Lucroy, optioned Danny Mendick to the club’s alternate training site and reassigned Ryan Burr, Tim Beckham, Zach Remillard, Matt Reynolds and Nick Williams to minor-league camp.
Who’s in left?
Vaughn, a first baseman pressed into left field duty in three of the last four Cactus League games, took a few steps back and handled a fly ball in the sun without incident Tuesday on perhaps the most difficult of a relatively easy three-game experience. But manager Tony La Russa, who has said he would be comfortable starting Vaughn in left, said he was leaning toward starting Leury Garcia in left. In that case, Vaughn will probably be the DH, after all.
“If I had to write it down now, [Leury] Garcia would probably play left field” on Opening Day, La Russa said.
Jimenez has surgery
Eloy Jimenez had surgery to repair a torn left pectoral tendon Tuesday, and the timeline remains five to six months, general manager Rick Hahn said.
“There’s a chance that he beats that traditional time frame for this type of injury but no on is going to know that for at least 12 weeks until he’s completed the healing process and the rehabilitation side of this injury,” Hahn said.