The suspense lasted about 15 hours from Tuesday evening through Wednesday morning. News first broke during the Tigers 5-4 win over the White Sox on Tuesday that Alejandro de Aza was pulled from Triple-A Charlotte’s game in the first inning, and NOT due to injury.
Something was in the works.
Rumors started about De Aza being dealt, but that didn’t make sense because the White Sox aren’t necessarily “buyers” at the non-waiver deadline. Trading away prospects is the last thing they want to be doing.
Wednesday morning in the White Sox clubhouse, De Aza’s name appeared in the No. 8 slot on the lineup card, playing center field. That’s when things began to get a little bit clearer.
With a sweep of the Tigers out of the question, general manager Kenny Williams was starting to put his blueprints into action.
Frasor will jump immediately into the White Sox bullpen upon arrival to spell Jesse Crain. With Sergio Santos handling closing duties, the Sox have been short a righty at times, making the load heavier on Crain.
Frasor is 2-1 with a 2.98 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 44 relief appearances with Toronto this season. He has limited opponents to a .244 average, including a .228 mark against right-handers.
Stewart, 24, was 5-5 with a 4.20 ERA in 16 starts with Double-A New Hampshire this season and was named to the Eastern League midseason All-Star Team. He also went 0-1 with a 4.86 ERA in his first three major-league starts with Toronto, making his debut on June 16 vs. Baltimore.
Barring injury or a complete fire sale, don’t expect to see Stewart this season.
Williams sounded as if he has more plans in place, having shaved over $9 million off the team’s payroll with this move.
De Aza will see plenty of action while he is up, but Ozzie Guillen clarified that Alex Rios isn’t being completely benched – Ozzie will find a way to get everyone playing time. This probably means being more flexible with the DH spot, getting Paul Konerko and Carlos Quentin a day off here and there in order to get De Aza his at-bats while not wasting Rios’ potential (he still has it) riding the pine.