Today was the 40-man roster deadline, that golden date by which major league teams must decide which prospects to add to their 40-man roster to protect them from another team’s poaching in the Rule 5 Draft. While the White Sox had a couple of candidates, they ended up going with Bennett Sousa and Jason Bilous, both pitchers. Sousa is a southpaw reliever who’s been putting up solid numbers in affiliate play, finishing 2021 in Charlotte, and Bilous is a righty starter who struggled at Birmingham for most of 2021 but has shown and clearly has upside.
Of the seven Sox prospects on the roster, Caleb Freeman alone appeared in the last Glendale Desert Dogs game of the season as the team fell 5-3 to the Surprise Saguaros; they did not make tomorrow’s championship game. Freeman pitched the first two outs of the sixth inning, striking out two swinging sandwiched in between a single, a walk, and an RBI single.
This means we have same final stat lines, and some of them aren’t pretty. The long season after no season took a toll on José Rodríguez, who batted .226/.273/.323 over 16 games with just one home run, one double, and one triple. The same can be said for Yoelkis Céspedes, who wound up at .181/.244/.222 in 19 games, no home runs or triples but three doubles. He walked twice and struck out 22 times.
Yolbert Sánchez, on the other hand, didn’t get into quite so much game action but did bat .400/.533/.514 in the 12 games he played, hitting one home run and one double, walking 10 times and striking out just twice. Despite the limited playing time, he still racked up a Hitter of the Week award (think about how nice that will look next to the World Series trophies).
Freeman faltered a little today, but overall had the best AFL season of any Sox pitcher, with a line of 10 ⅔ IP, 9 H, 3 R (2 ER), 6 BB, 11 K. He also balked once, but who among us.
The other pitchers didn’t fare quite so well over the course of the season’s five or so weeks. McKinley Moore wasn’t terrible but saw his SO9 dive from 13.1 over 40 ⅔ regular-season innings to 7.6 in a small-sample 10 ⅔ innings in the AFL. He also allowed five runs in those 10 ⅔ innings for a 4.22 ERA and gave up two home runs; he allowed four home runs total in-season.
J.B. Olson just couldn’t get it done on the mound, and neither could Johan Dominguez. Olson, former 10th-round pick from 2017, allowed 10 runs (nine earned) including four home runs in just 13 innings; he walked two and struck out 12. Dominguez was the only starter from the Sox and allowed 15 runs (14 earned) in 12 innings spanning five starts and six total appearances. He gave up three home runs, walked seven, and struck out 14.