The Chicago White Sox are only about a week and a half into their 2011 spring training schedule. But the team is wasting no time in trimming its roster down toward the final 25 players who will head north to start the season on the road against the Cleveland Indians. The Sox announced seven moves this morning, affecting both pitchers and position players.â†µ
Right-handed pitchers Lucas Harrell and Jhonny Nunez were optioned to the Triple A Charlotte Knights. Meanwhile, catchers Josh Phegley and Jared Price, outfielder Brandon Short, and pitchers Kyle Bellamy (a righty) and Charlie Leesman (a lefty) were sent to minor league camp. That leaves 46 Sox players remaining in MLB camp: 24 pitchers, four catchers, 11 infielders and seven outfielders.â†µ
The most interesting cut is Lucas Harrell. Before today, there was a chance that the 25-year-old swingman might get a shot as the team's fifth starter while Jake Peavy presumably finishes up his shoulder rehab in April. Harrell appeared in eight games for the White Sox in 2010, starting three of them. He had a heck of a groundball rate (50.6%) and gave up only two home runs but, otherwise, got hit pretty hard (34 hits in 24 innings pitched) and walked too many batters (17).â†µ
Could Harrell's ouster mean Jake will be ready to pitch by the first week of April? Or does it mean manager Ozzie Guillen still hopes to bob and weave his way through the first few weeks of the season with a four-man rotation? Stay tuned.