The Chicago White Sox had Luis Robert back in the lineup for their game against the Minnesota Twins last night. It was announced on Sunday night and he officially returned Monday. In order to make room for him, however, they sent Gavin Sheets down to the AAA Charlotte Knights. It is a shame to see Sheets go but it was the right move. There are a lot of things that contributed to this decision.
For one, he is AAA eligible without waivers. The other candidate to go in favor of Robert was Jake Lamb. Lamb, however, would have to either clear waivers and be sent to AAA or be cut completely. This decision with Sheets is the only way to keep them both in the organization. Having them both when rosters expand will make this transaction worth it on its own.
Of course, Sheets will also get much more valuable playing time with Charlotte until he comes back up. Before his MLB debut, he was crushing baseballs down there. He earned his call-up and will have to earn it again. Getting regular at-bats and time at his natural position will serve him well there. He would be getting his playing time cut even more after Robert came back, especially with Eloy Jimenez, Adam Engel, Billy Hamilton, Brian Goodwin, and Billy Hamilton ahead of him.
Sheets did everything he needed to do in order to stay on this roster. He hit well, he had timely big hits, and he played multiple defensive positions well enough. He had a slash line of .225/.293/.483 for an OPS of .776. It will be interesting to see what his numbers look like if he gets that on-base percentage up but his 6 home runs and five doubles with 16 RBIs looked really nice in 99 plate appearances.
Gavin Sheets has a chance to become a Chicago White Sox fan favorite one day.
Luis Robert is going to be a key piece to this organization for a long time. Lamb won’t be but he is a veteran player that can bring some power to the table as well. Having a guy like that around down the stretch might prove to be very valuable. When rosters expand, as mentioned before, Sheets is at the top of the list of position players to be called back up.
When you conduct yourself the way Sheets has over these few weeks that he was there, you will get your chance again. His post on Twitter shows that he is very grateful for this and he knows his time is just beginning.