White Sox cut six; Escobar wins bench spot


White Sox cut six; Escobar wins bench spot

The White Sox reassigned Dan Johnson, Dallas McPherson, Jim Gallagher and Jordan Danks to minor-league camp Tuesday, meaning Eduardo Escobar appears to have won the battle for the final spot on the White Sox bench.

In 17 games this spring, Escobar has hit .471 with no walks, one strikeout and one home run. His defensive versatility also was a likely factor in his triumph, as Escobar can play second, short and third base pretty well.

How Robin Ventura uses Brent Lillibridge in relation to Escobar will be interesting -- Lillibridge has played all over the field this spring, showing signs of improvement, but still a few flaws, in the infield. Lillibridge is the superior hitter to Escobar, no matter what the latter's spring stats may show, but Escobar has the superior glove.

It would make sense for Escobar to be a late-game pinch-runner for, say, Paul Konerko, but he doesn't have experience playing first. Lillibridge, however, has played some first base, so he'd make more sense if the Sox need a pair of legs in the eighth or ninth innings. The same goes for Dayan Viciedo, as Lillibridge has experience in left field. Perhaps the majority of Escobar's pinch-running opportunities will come for Adam Dunn.

While awarding jobs based on spring stats is dangerous, the Sox probably figured all along either Escobar or Ozzie Martinez was the best fit for their bench so long as they didn't look overmatched in March. Martinez was overmatched and was cut pretty early into the process, but Escobar looked far from it. And as a result, he'll make the Opening Day roster.

There does exist a scenario -- albeit, an unlikely one that doesn't involve injury -- in which Escobar doesn't make the Opening Day roster. Given the versatility of Lillibridge, the lack of separation between a few bullpen candidates could lead the White Sox to open the season with eight relievers and only three bench reserves.

But history has shown that carrying an eighth reliever usually doesn't do much, since that pitcher rarely enters games. It's better to have the four-man bench, of which Escobar would be the fourth member.

Josh Phegley and Tyler Saladino were the other two players reassigned to minor-league camp Tuesday.

White Sox: Chris Getz's new player development role is to carry out 'vision of the scouts'

White Sox: Chris Getz's new player development role is to carry out 'vision of the scouts'

He may be limited on experience, but Chris Getz already has a strong idea about player development.

Getz -- who on Friday was named the White Sox director of player development -- worked the past two seasons as an assistant to baseball operations in player development for the Kansas City Royals. A fourth-round pick of the White Sox in the 2005 amateur draft, Getz replaces Nick Capra, who earlier this month was named the team’s third-base coach. A quick learner whom a baseball source said the Royals hoped to retain, Getz described his new position as being “very task oriented.”

“(The job) is carrying out the vision of the scouts,” Getz said. “The players identified by the scouts and then they are brought in and it’s a commitment by both the player and staff members to create an environment for that player to reach their ceiling.

“It’s a daily process.”

Getz, a University of Michigan product, played for the White Sox in 2008 and 2009 before he was traded to the Royals in a package for Mark Teahen in 2010. Previously drafted by the White Sox in 2002, he described the organization as “something that always will be in my DNA.”

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]​

Getz stayed in Kansas City through 2013 and began to consider a front-office career as his playing career wound down. His final season in the majors was with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2014.

Royals general manager Dayton Moore hired Getz as an assistant to baseball operations in January 2015 and he quickly developed a reputation as both highly intelligent and likeable, according to a club source.

“He is extremely well-regarded throughout the game, and we believe he is going to have a positive impact on the quality of play from rookie ball through Chicago,” GM Rick Hahn said.

Getz had as many as four assistant GMs ahead of him with the Royals, who couldn’t offer the same kind of position as the White Sox did. Getz spent the past week meeting with other members of the White Sox player development staff and soon will head to the team’s Dominican Republic academy. After that he’ll head to the Arizona Fall League as he becomes familiar with the department. Though he’s still relatively new, Getz knows what’s expected of his position.

“It’s focused on what’s in front of you,” Getz said. “Player development people are trying to get the player better every single day.”

“With that being said, the staff members need to be creative in their thinking. They need to be innovative at times. They need to know when to press the gas or pump the brakes. They need to be versatile in all these different areas.”

White Sox name Chris Getz Director of Player Development

White Sox name Chris Getz Director of Player Development

The White Sox announced on Friday they have named former MLB infielder Chris Getz as Director of Player Development.

Getz replaces Nick Capra, who after five seasons in his position was named the White Sox third base coach on Oct. 14.

The 33-year-old Getz has spent the last two years with the Kansas City Royals as a baseball operations assistant/player development in which he assisted in minor-league operations and player personnel decisions.

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]​

“I'm excited about the opportunity to help teach and develop young talent in the organization where my professional career began,” Getz said in a press release. “I was drafted twice, worked through the minor leagues, and reached the major leagues with the White Sox. Through this journey, I was able to gain an understanding of the individuals within this organization, who I respect greatly.  The director of player development is an important role, and the health of the minor-league system is vital for major-league success.  I look forward to putting my all into making the White Sox a strong and winning organization.”
White Sox Senior VP/general manager Rick Hahn added: “We are pleased to add Chris’ intellect, background and energy to our front office. He is extremely well-regarded throughout the game, and we believe he is going to have a positive impact on the quality of play from rookie ball through Chicago.”

Getz, originally a fourth-round selection by the White Sox in the 2005 MLB Draft out of Michigan, played in seven MLB seasons with the White Sox (2008-09), Royals (2010-13) and Blue Jays (2014).

Getz had a career slash line of .250/.309/.307 with three home runs, 111 RBI and 89 stolen bases.