How should White Sox take advantage of 26th man?
Every team in baseball will have a 26th roster spot during the 2020 season. How should the Chicago White Sox take advantage of that?
Many teams, possibly including the White Sox, are going to choose to use that roster spot on a reliever just in case of extra-inning games.
The White Sox could end up choosing to use that spot to carry three catchers, though, with Zack Collins joining Yasmani Grandal and James McCann on the roster.
In 2019, the 24-year-old Collins struggled to impress at the big league level as he hit .186/.307/.349 with three home runs and 12 RBI over 27 games to give himself a 77 wRC+.
His Triple-A numbers showed some serious promise, though, as he registered a .282/.403/.548 slash line with 19 homers and 74 RBI.
While the White Sox are probably still high on Collins, the addition of Grandal has already pushed McCann into a true backup role. Collins would essentially be on the roster to start maybe once every two weeks.
If they are truly still high on him, it would actually be more beneficial to give him consistent playing time at Triple-A unless if they trade McCann to open up the backup catcher role in the South Side for Collins.
With that being the case, it might be best if the White Sox use the 26th spot like the rest of the league.
Right now, their bullpen is likely to have Alex Colome, Steve Cishek, Aaron Bummer, Evan Marshall, Kelvin Herrera, Jace Fry, and Jimmy Cordero in it.
The team, though, should really look to sign another reliever before Opening Day and, if they do, one of the previously mentioned arms could simply become the eighth reliever.
If they don’t, though, another option could be to carry Michael Kopech on the roster (once he’s healthy) and ease him into pitching again at the big league level by using him occasionally as a reliever.
Currently, the White Sox have a full rotation comprised of Lucas Giolito, Dallas Keuchel, Reynaldo Lopez, Gio Gonzalez, and Dylan Cease, so Kopech might have to earn his way into the rotation anyways.
It could also be used later in the season for Carlos Rodon when he returns from Tommy John Surgery.
The White Sox have some options in terms of how they can use the 26th roster spot to their advantage. They will likely look to figure out the best way to address that during Spring Training.