BOSTON — The confusion over his first name aside, Charlie Leesman is confident he made the right decision in April to stay with the White Sox.
Leesman joined the White Sox on Sunday, one of two additions along with catcher Bryan Anderson to the team’s active roster.
He arrived to find a computer-generated nameplate above his clubhouse stall — provided by the Boston Red Sox — identifying him as ‘Jose Leesman.’ But considering where he has been this season, the mistake couldn’t detract from the left-handed pitcher’s happiness. Just 4 1/2 months after he was designated for assignment, Leesman can see a viable opportunity ahead with the White Sox.
“I’m ecstatic to be up here,” Leesman said. “I’ve been with the White Sox since I’ve been drafted, and regardless of the DFA, I trust them that they’re going to take care of me. They know how hard I work. Between me and my agent, we decided it was the best opportunity and best chance to stay with the team and the organization that knows me best and I know them. I think we made a great decision.”
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Leesman made his major league debut last month and struck out eight as he allowed a run in five innings against the Minnesota Twins.
Back in April he probably didn’t think such an opportunity existed. Leesman, recovering from offseason knee surgery, was designated and waived. The Texas Rangers claimed him off waivers but Leesman refused the assignment and opted to resign a minor-league deal with the White Sox.
Leesman said he chose to stay with the White Sox in part to stay on the same treatment plan.
Over the final 28 games, Leesman could see time in the bullpen and as a spot-start, manager Robin Ventura said. Leesman is also expected to compete for a bullpen spot in spring training next season.
“Whatever the position is, I’m more than happy to go after it that way,” said Leesman, who is one of six players headed for the Arizona Fall League next month. “In terms of relieving, I think the last time I did it was in Puerto Rico in 2011. I had like 12 innings and the year before it was the fall league. … I wasn’t really expecting that when they told me, but if it can help me make the team next year out of camp, then it’s awesome.”