The White Sox Opening Day roster continues to come into focus as Daryl Van Schouwen of the Sun Times reports that both utilityman Romy Gonzalez and right-hander Gregory Santos are expected to make the team out of camp this spring. The pair join outfielder Oscar Colas and infielder Hanser Alberto, who were previously reported to be making the Opening Day roster as well.
Gonzalez has mostly played second base during his 42 games in the big leagues so far, but has also appeared at shortstop, third base, and in both outfielder corners, making him a versatile bench piece for manager Pedro Grifol to utilize as needed. A career .241/.261/.350 hitter in the majors, Gonzalez doesn’t bring much to the table with his bat, but a .795 OPS in 286 minor league games and an .808 OPS this spring both indicate the 26 year-old Gonzalez could take a step forward with more exposure to big league pitching, though he will surely have to cut down on his concerning 35.2% career strikeout rate in order to do so. Gonzalez’s spot on the Opening Day roster likely comes at the expense of third baseman Jake Burger, who has posted an above average 114 wRC+ in 66 career big league games but is largely limited to the infield corners in terms of versatility. Gonzalez will join a bench that appears poised to include Alberto, Gavin Sheets, and Seby Zavala.
Santos seemed to be a potential favorite for a roster spot after Bryan Shaw and Nick Avila were told they would not make the roster earlier today. Chicago acquired Santos in December from the Giants, who Santos had pitched just 5 2/3 innings for at the big league level, allowing seven earned runs in the process. Santos has a 19.3% strikeout rate and 10% walk rate for his career across the major and minor leagues, and tends to keep the ball on the ground, with groundball rates between 50 and 60% in the minor leagues. Santos seems likely to join Jose Ruiz and Jake Diekman in middle relief for the White Sox this year, with Kendall Graveman, Aaron Bummer, Joe Kelly, and Reynaldo Lopez figuring to get more late-inning work to begin the season.