While they have some paperwork left the White Sox opening day roster is all but set after six players were sent to minor league camp Friday.
Those moves -- the reassignments of catcher Hector Gimenez, infielders Micah Johnson and Alex Liddi, outfielder Blake Tekotte and pitchers David Purcey and Zach Putnam -- clear the way for several rookies, including reliever Daniel Webb, to open the season in the majors. The White Sox open the 2014 season at home Monday at 3:10 p.m. against the Minnesota Twins.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura indicated earlier in the week that rookie catcher Adrian Nieto, a Rule 5 draft pick, and infielder Leury Garcia, would make the opening day roster unless there were drastic changes.
Webb appeared to be in the same position as Nieto and Garcia but potentially had his spot on the roster removed when the White Sox claimed Javy Guerra on Wednesday. But hours before the White Sox defeated their minor-league affiliate, the Double-A Birmingham Barons, 5-2 in Birmingham, Ala. on Friday, Guerra was outrighted off the 40-man roster and assigned to Triple-A Charlotte.
The White Sox have touted Webb as a potential closer candidate since Sox Fest in January. They not only like Webb’s slider/fastball combo, but they believe he might have the right makeup to take over the role.
Friday’s moves bring the White Sox roster to 27 players. Gordon Beckham and Jeff Keppinger are both expected to be placed on the disabled list on Sunday when rosters must be set.
Beckham, who has been out for two weeks with a left oblique strain, could come off the DL as early as April 5. Keppinger, who had shoulder surgery last September, hasn’t been able to throw properly all spring. He will start his rehab assignment over, general manager Rick Hahn said this week.
-- Conor Gillaspie led a 13-hit attack for the White Sox at Birmingham by going 3-for-5 with a run and an RBI.
-- A day after he hit his only home run of the spring in his final at-bat, Adam Dunn went 1-for-2 with a run scored.
-- White Sox relievers pitched the entire game on Friday. Matt Lindstrom and Scott Downs each had two strikeouts in a scoreless inning. Ronald Belsario, Nate Jones, Webb and Maikel Cleto each pitched a scoreless inning.