When the Chicago White Sox first traded for Conor Gillaspie back in February, not much was made of the deal. I, myself, didn’t think the 24-year-old infielder would make the team. However, after an impressive spring, where he drove in ten runs and hit two home runs, the former first round draft pick was able to beat out Brent Morel for one of the Sox last roster spots.
In his first start of the season this afternoon, Gillaspie was a key reason the Sox downed Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners on a windy day in Chicago. There’s no doubt Dylan Axelrod was impressive in his 5.2 innings of no earned run baseball. Addison Reed once game slammed the door shut in his third save of the year, but Gillaspie was just as important in the White Sox 4-3 victory.
Going 2 for 3 with a triple and two runs scored, Gillaspie was a spark plug for the South Siders offense. Although his day at the plate was note worthy, his defense at the hot corner was even better. Making play after play, including a web gem double play in the 5th, Gillaspie flashed the leather all afternoon long.
Moving forward, I’m not sure if Gillaspie’s role with the Sox will change much. I’d expect the utility infielder to get a start just about every week and also come in as a defensive replacement in the later innings of games. However, if Jeff Keppinger, who has just one hit this year, can’t get it together, Gillaspie could earn a time-share at third base.
The Sox are now 3-2 on the young season and they will finish up their six game home stand tomorrow afternoon. Sox lefty Chris Sale will square off against Seattle’s right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma in the rubber match of the three-game series.