Feb 24, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Chicago White Sox shortstop Angel Sanchez (5) in the field during the second inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Angel Sanchez caps off competition-free spring

Angel Sanchez was brought in with a Rule 5 draft pick. That meant that beyond the lack of another plus-fielding shortstop near the majors, his candidacy was aided by the White Sox needing to not just think Steve Tolleson was better than him, but superior to the point that it was worth it to cede all claims to Sanchez. Not to mention that, hey, it’s high time the White Sox got something in return from the Astros.

Tolleson outhit Sanchez over their respective collection of scant spring plate appearances, but never sufficiently outplayed him in terms of the true function of the roster spot–play up the middle defense and hit ninth, ideally in less than 40 games.

Other bench slots had similar contract-issue influences.

The White Sox felt the need to be proactive in securing Dewayne Wise‘s services with a guaranteed contract, which left Jordan Danks and Blake Tekotte pressing for a role that didn’t exist. And when third basemen Conor Gillaspie arrived via trade fresh out of minor league options, Brent Morel suddenly had to not only prove he was healthy, but prove he was  better than the level of play most often associated with Brent Morel.

That’s no good at all for Tolleson, Morel and Danks, who are getting kicked into Quad-A existence with no tangible reward for strong springs, but good in practice, because it removed the historically dubious results of spring training competition from the equation of determining roster spots. None of these guys have proven very valuable yet, so it might be prudent to stockpile them.

Even Hector Gimenez went more or less unchallenged. The only competition the White Sox lined up for him was a non-roster invitee that received less than half of the plate appearances Gimenez received, even with Tyler Flowers missing time.

So…

Catchers

  • Tyler Flowers
  • Hector Gimenez

Infield

Outfield

Pitchers

Disabled List

A decent group, you might say.

 

Follow James Fegan on Twitter @JRFegan

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Tags: Angel Sanchez Chicago White Sox Steve Tolleson

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