The Chicago White Sox have had one of the quietest off-season thus far, with the signing of Jeff Keppinger being their only major transaction of note. A lot of White Sox fans have wondered if their new general manager, Rick Hahn, has anything up his sleeve, most notably for a left-handed bat. And after designating the recently re-acquired Zack Stewart to the minors, the White Sox have an open spot on the 40-man roster. That spot might be filled via trade or free agency, but the most likely scenario is calling up their former first-round pick, Jared Mitchell, as their left-handed bat off the bench.
Hahn had this to say at Soxfest: “After Buddy Bell returned from instructional league this year, he wouldn’t shut up about where Jared is and we can’t possibly consider moving this guy because he’s ready to bust loose. Guys who have been working with him since he arrived here on campus are starting to get that excitement in their voice.”
Mitchell, who was drafted ahead of Mike Trout in the 2009 MLB Draft, hasn’t really produced in the Minor Leagues, which is why this decision is quite perplexing. Mitchell isn’t a very good hitter – his career .237 batting average isn’t something you would expect out of someone who is on the verge of a promotion – but the White Sox like his defensive and speed capabilities off the bench. With that being said, don’t the White Sox already have that guy in DeWayne Wise? There is no need to bring up a left-handed bat for the sake of bringing up a left-handed bat.
Unlike last off-season when I had some optimism about the White Sox, I don’t have a good feeling heading into the 2013 season for the opposite reasons of why I was optimistic in 2012. If the Sox have any chance to dethrone the stacked Detroit Tigers, they need to acquire a bat that actually matters. Because as it stands right now, I feel the White Sox will have one of the worst five offenses in baseball.
Jared Mitchell certainly won’t help the cause, especially when his strikeout percentage would make Adam Dunn proud.