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Yoán Moncada starts the season on IL

Jake Burger is your starting third baseman for two or three weeks.

Kansas City Royals v Chicago White Sox
Yoán Moncada struggled through spring, and part of the reason is now revealed: He’s been trying to play through an oblique strain.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The White Sox released their 28-player Opening Day roster on Thursday, and it came packed with one surprise: Yoán Moncada hitting the 10-day IL to start the season, due to a mildly-strained (Grade 1) oblique muscle.

(The IL switches this year, back to 15 days, but not until the expanded roster period is over and teams return to 26, not 28, players.)

The White Sox announced other 10-day IL stints, none surprising:

  • RHRP Ryan Burr (retroactive to April 4; right shoulder strain)
  • RHRP Joe Kelly (retroactive to April 4; right biceps nerve injury)
  • RHSP Lance Lynn (retroactive to April 4; right knee surgery to repair torn tendon)
  • LHRP Garrett Crochet (retroactive to April 4; left elbow surgery)
  • OF Yermín Mercedes (retroactive to April 4; left hamate fracture)

Necessitating the following bunch of moves:

  • Recalled 3B Jake Burger and RHRP Matt Foster from Triple-A Charlotte
  • Selected the contracts of LHP Tanner Banks and RHRP Kyle Crick from Charlotte
  • Designated OF Micker Adolfo for assignment
  • Outrighted C Seby Zavala to Charlotte

Zavala should clear waivers and report to the Knights, but with a dearth of catching in the game, who knows. Micker, who was electric this spring, will not remain with the White Sox. Cutting him from the 28-man roster will end his White Sox career. The only question remaining is whether the White Sox can work a deal out with a team over the weeklong claim period, or simply lose him outright.

A full half of the roster is pitching, and here’s who made the club:

Lucas Giolito
Dylan Cease
Michael Kopech
Dallas Keuchel
Reynaldo López
Vince Velasquez

Tanner Banks
Aaron Bummer
Kyle Crick
Matt Foster
Kendall Graveman
Liam Hendriks
José Ruiz
Bennett Sousa

All but Keuchel, Banks, Bummer and Sousa are righthanders. Look for Bummer and Graveman to set up Hendriks at the back of the pen. The rotation won’t necessarily be six-man, but López and Velasquez both figure to see some starts. Banks can also swing into a starting role.

Yasmani Grandal
Reese McGuire

A bit interesting that the White Sox didn’t keep Zavala/three catchers, especially with Grandal seeing the lineup most every day, DHing rather than getting true off-days. That leaves Tony La Russa with limited catching options, but the team must feel McGuire gives them a second starter in much the way James McCann was in 2020.

First Basemen
José Abreu
Gavin Sheets

Ideally, Abreu sees more DH time this season than his requisite Sunday DH games, with Sheets (and Andrew Vaughn) on the roster.

Second Baseman
Josh Harrison

Tim Anderson

Third Baseman
Jake Burger

Swiss Army knife Infielders
Leury García
Danny Mendick

They keep listing Burger as INF, but he’s not playing second base in the majors with Harrison, García and Mendick all looking for something to do every day. García could still see sub time in LF or RF; Mendick as well, why not?

Adam Engel
Eloy Jiménez
AJ Pollock
Luis Robert
Andrew Vaughn

For any talk of Vaughn getting regular reps in Charlotte, his upbeat attitude (tumbling in right field! taking reps at third base!) and strong spring keeps him with the White Sox. Engel figures to be the primary backup outfielder at all three spots. Vaughn is the primary DH, but it is sort of hilarious the White Sox HAVE to list him as an outfielder, because it’s just too weird to acknowledge keeping THREE first basemen on your roster.

Ryan Burr
Garrett Crochet
Joe Kelly
Lance Lynn
Yermín Mercedes
Yoán Moncada
Jonathan Stiever

Stiever is on the 60-day IL, as he rehabs from lat surgery. Crochet will join him on the 60-day, as a 40-man roster spot becomes necessary. Mercedes was never going to be breaking camp with the White Sox, as an outfielder, catcher, or DH. Kelly is targeted for an end-of-month return. Burr and Moncada could be back before then.