The White Sox shook awake their fan base this past weekend by taking a split from the Yankees. To which they responded by nearly selling out Guaranteed Rate Field on Saturday and then selling it out on Sunday. They then made them even more excited, heading into the always fun Cross – town series by calling up Zack Collins.
The former number 10 pick will make his major league debut with “Beef Welington” Castillo going on the 10 day IL. Now the real question is, is he here to stay? The White Sox have been very honest with how they will handle their young farm system, in that GM Rick Hahn has said that players will be called up when they are ready. Collins’ .250 batting average and high strikeout totals may bring White Sox fans some caution, but he could be the answer that Sox fans are looking for in this lineup.
The big punch is that Yonder Alonso’s roll will continue to diminish. With the Cubs series on Tuesday and Wednesday, we will only see him in pinch hitting duties at best. With Collins in the mix, I can see his ABs going down, due to the emergence of All-Star hopeful James McCann. McCann has already shown that he can handle the DH spot nicely for the pale hose, hitting .421 in that role. While that number will obviously drop with more regular appearances, it does allow the White Sox to sit Alonso. With a paltry .180 batting average for the season and never hitting his weight in his short stint with the White Sox, it looks like the off-season Manny Machado bait has become chum for young White Sox hitters to take their chance in the big leagues.
From a defensive standpoint, the two catchers are pretty even in most categories. Collins has worked with many of the young pitchers that the White Sox have called up and will call up moving forward. This is not to say that McCann has not worked well with the young staff, however with that experience, it can allow a more long term relationship to flourish if the rebuild is to continue on it’s current path. With Dylan Cease on the rise and hopefully with the ball-club soon, having a familiar face could ease that transition into being the major league pitcher that we all hope him to be.
Finally, this could make McCann trade bait for clubs in the race. While sitting pat and resigning McCann long term is an option for the team, the package of a combination of Jose Abreu, McCann, and Alex Colome could be tempting for teams in the hunt and bring back more pieces to the White Sox puzzle that are needed. McCann has been a nice surprise and is quietly making his case to be an All-Star.
Being able to trade a player at the peak of his value has been something that Rick Hahn has been able to do, with Adam Eaton and Chris Sale being prime examples of this. With an expiring contract, McCann may bring some needed punch for the teams looking for a bat in the postseason. Yes, the White Sox nation is looking at you Houston. Obviously, this only works if Zach Collins can be the number 10 pick the White Sox hoped he would be, and becomes the next piece in the puzzle for this young and fun White Sox team.
So realistically, if you’re an optimist you would say yes. However, if you’re a pessimist you will say no. But, as the regular season continues on into the summer, I am hopeful that Mr. Collins is successful and finds his way within Major League baseball. If only, so that Yonder Alonso can find himself riding the pine permanently in Chicago.
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