On the heels of the first major acquisition of the season throwing batting practice to the Washington Nationals, the White Sox announced a flurry of transactions today in the hours leading up to the start of the amateur draft.
I. Mat Latos — DFA’d — Despite his fluky April, Latos crashed back down to Earth with a horrifying splat. It turns out that when you give up more home runs and walks than you strike batters out, you’re going to have a hard time. Latos’ stuff is already bad, so the fact that he couldn’t locate it at all made him expendable. Throw in the persistent rumblings about Latos being detrimental to the clubhouse, which have followed him throughout his career, and it’s no surprise he was let go.
II. Tyler Danish — contract purchased from Double-A Birmingham — This move is almost certainly to make sure J.B. Shuck doesn’t have to pitch on back-to-back nights. Although Scott Carroll and Jacob Turner are in Triple-A Charlotte (and almost certainly better qualified for the majors at the moment), it is likely that this simply syncs up with Danish’s throw day so he’s ready to go. By all accounts, Danish has a phenomenal makeup and he’s easy to root for, but his profile is not encouraging. While it’s true that his recipe for getting hitters out has always been dependent on getting lots of grounders, I am skeptical that any pitcher can get enough grounders to make up for striking out fewer than six batters per nine innings. And presumably he’s not going to strike out more major league hitters than he does Southern League hitters.
III. Justin Morneau — signed to a 1-year, $1 million deal — Morneau was a decent hitter as recently as last year. Unfortunately, he is still recovering from surgery on his left elbow and he was immediately placed on the 15-day DL after signing with the White Sox, with Rick Hahn saying he will likely be ready to join the White Sox in mid- to late-July. Morneau is injury prone and solidly past his prime, but since the White Sox have turned to DHing the likes of Jimmy Rollins of late, there’s no way this is a bad idea. So while this reeks of “Too Little, Too Late,” at least they’re doing something, and even the ghost of Morneau is a decent bet to outhit the likes of Avisail Garcia.
And if he’s done, well, you can always DFA him just like you did Latos, because…well, look at that contract.