The White Sox had a busy Thursday ahead of the second half of the regular season getting underway Friday evening.
With the gigantic question marks that are Hector Noesi and Scott Carroll rounding out the team’s rotation, many wondered what the backup plan to those guys would be the rest of the year. As fill-in starters, both have been tremendous for this team, but it’d be silly to move forward without having options you like ready to go in the minors.
Dylan Axelrod, a 28 year old long-time warrior of the organization, has been dealt to the Cincinnatti Reds and Deunte Heath, also 28, has been granted his release. It appears he’ll soon be signing with a Japanese club.
That answers some questions, as both seemed to be at or near the front of the line to eat up innings for the big league club if needed (along with Andre Rienzo, Charlie Leesman, and recently acquired Shawn Hill).
So with those two headed out, the White Sox obviously needed to bring aboard a couple more space-fillers to have with AAA Charlotte just in case. They got their start by signing veteran Chien-Ming Wang and assigning him to the Knights.
Outside of a decent 11-start stint for the Nationals in 2011, Wang has not been a serviceable MLB starter since 2008, thanks large-in-part to several severe injuries.
He won 19 games in 2006 and 2007 for the New York Yankees, but the Taiwanese sensation has only won 16 games since.
Wang is now 34 and has been apart of three organizations over the past 2.5 years. He has been a very successful AAA pitcher over that time, which is obviously what’s kept him around.
But why did the Sox go out and get him as opposed to, say, any other ‘AAAA’ pitcher? Well, Wang does have plenty of big league experience, which you’d prefer from someone who may make a spot start here and there, and he throws a sinker, which profiles well for U.S. Cellular Field.
In a perfect world, Erik Johnson would figure things out in the minors and get back up to Chicago before the year is said and done, but I wouldn’t expect to see him and his 6.81 ERA anytime soon.
In the meantime, more rotational depth shuffling.
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