White Sox send rookie outfielder Oscar Colas to Triple-A Charlotte

‘‘We need him to completely clean up his whole game,’’ manager Pedro Grifol said. ‘‘I’m talking about baserunning, defensively. These are things I’ve spoken about all year. These are not new.’’

SHARE White Sox send rookie outfielder Oscar Colas to Triple-A Charlotte
Oscar Colas of the White Sox.

The White Sox are optioning rookie right fielder Oscar Colas to Triple-A Charlotte.

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The White Sox optioned right fielder Oscar Colas to Triple-A Charlotte on Monday, acknowledging for the second time this season that the 24-year-old rookie wasn’t ready for the major leagues.

Then-general manager Rick Hahn all but declared in November that the right-field job would be Colas’ to open the season. Colas won the job out of spring training but was sent back to Charlotte on May 1. He returned July 4, but the same issues were apparent.

On Monday, manager Pedro Grifol addressed why the move was made with only 19 games left in the season.

‘‘We need him to completely clean up his whole game,’’ Grifol said. ‘‘I’m talking about baserunning, defensively. These are things I’ve spoken about all year. These are not new.’’

The left-handed-hitting Colas also has struggled with a .216/.257/.314 hitting line in 75 games. He has five home runs. Aside from hitting more to the opposite field when asked, Colas didn’t handle pitching in the majors the way he has in the minors. In 48 games at Charlotte this season, Colas is batting .293/.359/.508 with nine homers.

‘‘He’s an impactful player,’’ Grifol said. ‘‘He obviously has got the tools to impact this team. However, fundamentally, he still needs a lot of work. He’s got to go down there and take care of those fundamentals.’’

Still emphasizing the importance of ‘‘winning major-league games’’ — even though the Sox, who were rained out Monday, are 55-88 — Grifol said Colas’ development will be better served in minor-league games and winter ball, where he can experiment with things.

‘‘We thought it was just a good time for him to go down there and just attack those things on the minor-league side,’’ Grifol said. ‘‘I talked about this over and over again, and [new general manager] Chris [Getz] and I are aligned on this vision: We want to play a fundamental style of baseball. We want to eliminate mistakes, and details are extremely important to us.’’

Added Getz: ‘‘[Colas has] made some mistakes, not that we were too surprised when those mistakes have happened. Now it’s a matter of minimizing those.

‘‘You want players to go out there and play freely and be the athletes they are, but within the approach of winning a baseball game and making good decisions on the field. There have been moments that perhaps have gotten a little too big for him.’’

Colas has a strong and, for the most part, accurate arm, but he often threw to the wrong base or place into the infield, unnecessarily allowing runners to move up 90 feet. He collided with veteran second baseman Elvis Andrus on a pop-up Sunday in Detroit, jarring the ball loose and pinning an error on Andrus.

Colas, an eager-to-learn kind of player, has talked about calming his nerves in the heat of the moment. Grifol used the analogy of turning the volume on his boombox down from a 10 to an eight when he was sent down the first time.

Colas’ uncertain status for next season leaves right field as a question mark on the Sox’ roster again. Grifol said Colas will go to spring training competing for the job.

Can he win the job?

‘‘It all depends on him and his mind and how well he can control the pressures up here and how fast he can slow the game down a little bit and let the game come to him,’’ Grifol said.

‘‘And the competition is not just going to be based on the tools that you have; it’s going to be based on the style of baseball that we want to play. We know we need to hit and score more runs and situational-hit and all of that. But we also need to play defense and to run bases. And that’s a big part of the direction that we’re moving in.’’

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