This is a post we've known is coming for awhile. In a perfect world we'd be to see the White Sox' best young talent playing at the big league level from day one. But it's a business, so we'll have to wait to see some of them. A few key names were optioned to AAA Charlotte on Sunday.
Credit: White Sox Pride Blog
Project reliever Mitchell Boggs, who just couldn't figure things out this spring, has been granted his unconditional release, and organizational depth man Dylan Axelrod is headed to minor league Spring Training.
When Boggs was signed in early February, it appeared more likely than not he'd break camp with the team. His performance throughout spring training made it impossible for the White Sox to stick with him. But we'll have more on that and the updated bullpen situation later today.
Obviously there's zero surprise with Axelrod being reassigned. And frankly, there isn't much surprise with the other three being sent down, but they're the significant trio of the group.
Jake Petricka got a chance to pitch for the White Sox in September after dominating the minor leagues. The former starter is just 25 and will get another shot at a bullpen role at some point, likely in 2014.
Though his 3.26 ERA in 16 appearances last season looks good at a glance, the fact that he only struck out ten batters in 19.1 innings and posted a 1.552 WHIP left much to be desired.
But other than letting up a couple home runs, he was pretty good this spring. He fanned 11 in just 9.1 IP while only walking two. If he has as much success in the minors as he did a year ago, he could find his way back up to the big leagues in the near future.
Jordan Danks had a very impressive spring, clubbing five home runs with ten RBI in 45 plate appearances. As Hawk Harrelson always notes, he's the organization's best defensive outfielder at all three spots, and he hits from the left side, which makes him perfect for a fourth outfielder role.
He will see time with the White Sox again in 2014 too, but right now with Alejandro De Aza, Dayan Viciedo, Avisail Garcia, and Adam Eaton already penciled into the Opening Day roster, there's just no room for Jordan at the moment.
Danks has done nothing but improve over the past few seasons, so hopefully the 27 year-old can finally get himself a consistent role on the south side in the near future.
And finally there's Davidson, who was acquired for closer Addison Reed over the winter.
With Conor Gillaspie starting at the hot corner, Davidson can get everyday work for Charlotte, and as long as he's there until early June, the White Sox will have him under club control for an extra season.
If that confuses you, trust us, we understand. Click here to be brought up-to-speed on why that's the case.
He too looked good in Spring Training after getting off to a slow start. He finished with a .308/.341/.564 slash line to go along with his four doubles, two home runs, and only seven strikeouts in 41 plate appearances.
Again, we'd all love to see as much of the talented youngsters as possible in this 'reshaping season' for the White Sox. So while it's discouraging to see some of them sent down, remember, for one, that the club has plenty of good reasons doing so, and also that we'll see them all at the major league level before long.