Early Thursday, the White Sox announced their non-roster invites for Spring Training, who will join the members of the 40-man roster in Glendale to compete for spots on the 26-man, regular season roster. The White Sox begin the regular season in Anaheim on April 1.
Notable, perhaps, this season is that due to a planned staggering of Spring Training, not all players in the organization will be at Camelback Ranch at the traditional start of training, next week. The plan has been for only the major-league club and Charlotte rosters to be training early, with a second wave of Spring Training beginning on April 1, when the MLB and Triple-A rosters have broke camp.
Will there be a major impact from that change? Unlikely. But neither the traditional cups of coffee that some very young players see as “fill-ins” late in games nor the flurry of arms a club can normally trot out with relative impunity for Cactus League games will be present at Camelback Ranch this season. This is where a guy like Zach Remillard, a versatile player who can fill in at any defensive spot, has value as an addition to the spring roster.
Informally, we’ve heard that the Cactus League will reduce its number of spring games by a handful, ensuring 14 home contests for every club and filling in some postponed games with intrasquads.
Here is the copyedited White Sox release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, February 11, 2021
WHITE SOX INVITE 21 PLAYERS TO SPRING TRAINING
CHICAGO – The Chicago White Sox have agreed to terms on minor-league contracts with the following 14 free agents: right-handed pitchers Ryan Burr, Tayron Guerrero, Alex McRae, Félix Paulino, Connor Sadzeck and Mike Wright; left-handers Jacob Lindgren, Kodi Medeiros and Matt Tomshaw; catcher Jonathan Lucroy; infielders Tim Beckham, Marco Hernández and Matt Reynolds; and outfielder Nick Williams.
All 14 players, in addition to seven others from within the organization, have received non-roster invites to the club’s spring training camp in Glendale, Ariz.
Right-handers Danny Dopico, Kade McClure and Emilio Vargas, left-hander Bennett Sousa, catcher Carlos Pérez and infielders Zach Remillard and Andrew Vaughn also received invites to major-league camp from within the system. Vaughn is the No. 1-ranked prospect in the White Sox organization according to Baseball America entering the 2021 season.
Pitchers and catchers report to spring training on Wednesday, February 17, including physicals and a workout. Position players will report and undergo physicals on Monday, February 22. The first full-squad workout also takes place on the 22nd.
Below is notable information for the White Sox 21 non-roster invitees:
INF Tim Beckham: Has played in 472 career major-league games between Tampa Bay (2013, ’15-17), Baltimore (2017-18) and Seattle (2019).
RHP Ryan Burr: Spent the 2020 season at the Schaumburg alternate training site after undergoing Tommy John surgery in June 2019.
RHP Danny Dopico: Spent the 2020 season at the Schaumburg alternate training site; posted a 2.59 ERA with Class AA Birmingham in 2019.
RHP Tayron Guerrero: Spent the 2020 season at the Schaumburg alternate training site.
INF Marco Hernández: Spent the 2020 season at Boston’s alternate training site; has played in 122 career major-league games with Boston (2016-19).
LHP Jacob Lindgren: Spent the 2020 season at the Schaumburg alternate training site.
C Jonathan Lucroy: Is a career .274/.335/.416 hitter with 216 doubles, 108 home runs and 545 RBIs in 1,203 games over 11 major league seasons with Milwaukee (2010-16), Texas (2016-17), Colorado (2017), Oakland (2018), the Angels (2019), Cubs (2019) and Boston (2020); is a two-time All-Star (2014, ’16), and has appeared in 15 career postseason games (2011, ’16-18).
RHP Kade McClure: Has gone 8-7 with a 3.05 ERA and 160 strikeouts over 40 career minor-league appearances (30 starts) in the White Sox organization; was selected by Chicago in the sixth round of the 2017 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
RHP Alex McRae: Appeared in two games with the White Sox in 2020, retiring nine of the 10 batters he faced; spent the majority of the season at the Schaumburg alternate training site.
LHP Kodi Medeiros: Spent the 2020 season at the Schaumburg alternate training site.
RHP Félix Paulino: Has appeared in 104 career minor-league games (64) between the Philadelphia (2014-18) and White Sox (2018-19) organizations; originally was acquired from the Phillies in exchange for LHP Luis Avilán on August 22, 2018.
C Carlos Pérez: Has played in 307 career minor-league games over six seasons in the White Sox system.
INF Zach Remillard: Enters the season rated by Baseball America as the Best Infield Arm in the White Sox organization; was selected by Chicago in the 10th round of the 2016 draft.
INF Matt Reynolds: Spent the majority of the 2020 season at Kansas City’s alternate training site; appeared in three games with the Royals last season.
RHP Connor Sadzeck: Owns a 2.18 ERA and .195 opponents average over 33 career major-league games between Seattle (2019) and Texas (2018).
RHP Bennett Sousa: Spent time at the Schaumburg alternate training site last season; owns a 2.06 ERA over two career minor-league seasons in the White Sox system.
LHP Matt Tomshaw: Has appeared in 226 career games (162 starts) over nine minor-league seasons in the White Sox, Miami and Minnesota organizations.
RHP Emilio Vargas: Was claimed by the White Sox off waivers from Arizona on November 20, 2020; has gone 35-33 with a 3.48 ERA over seven minor-league seasons in the Diamondbacks organization (2013-19).
INF Andrew Vaughn: Enters the season rated by Baseball America and MLB .com as the No. 1 prospect in the White Sox system; rated by MLB.com as the No. 14 prospect and No. 1 first base prospect in baseball.
OF Nick Williams: Appeared in 290 career major-league games with Philadelphia from 2017-19.
RHP Mike Wright: Pitched for the NC Dinos of the Korean Baseball Organization in 2020.
These invites don’t carve in stone where the White Sox see various players in the organization and provide stone-cold handicapping for first call-ups, etc. However, it’s interesting to see the mix of arms invited, be it acknowledgement of a recent job well done (McRae, Dopico), a fast riser (Sousa) or an old friend (Paulino).
On the offensive side, there’s not as much intrigue. Remillard provides versatility, Reynolds the requisite AAAA infielder from Kansas City, and there’s always an extra catcher (Perez). Given the unsettled state of the White Sox outfield, having just one additional player roaming, Williams, is interesting.
But when coupled with the 40-man, that’s more than 60 players competing for precious spots in the dugout. Spring Training will be very different this year — but perhaps more intriguing than ever.