White Sox

Matt Davidson, Carlos Sanchez among White Sox cuts

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Matt Davidson, Carlos Sanchez among White Sox cuts

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The White Sox had to make several difficult choices on Tuesday morning.

But the end results of those discussions with Matt Davidson and Carlos Sanchez is the team feels it has much more depth than with which it began the spring.

Davidson, Sanchez, reliever Tommy Kahnle and infielder Leury Garcia were optioned to Triple-A Charlotte and outfielder Jason Coats was also sent to minor-league camp. The White Sox, 6-2 winners over the Texas Rangers at Camelback Ranch, have 31 players left in big league camp and only one roster decision to go.

“These conversations were difficult ones, but difficult from a good problem to have standpoint,” general manager Rick Hahn said. “It’s nice to have viable options at multiple positions that you feel should there be an injury or underperformance that you have options internally to bring up and hopefully not miss a beat.”

Perhaps the most pleasant surprise of a strong camp for the team, Davidson has raked all spring. The third baseman hit .413/.438/.783 with a team-high five home runs and nine RBIs. Davidson also had two doubles in 46 at-bats and had good success after making several changes in the offseason to simplify his swing. But after the acquisition of Todd Frazier means there’s no guarantee of regular at-bats in the big leagues for Davidson, who has struggled the past two seasons at Triple-A Charlotte.

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

The White Sox would love for Davidson to continue this type of production at Charlotte.

“It’s tough,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “A guy comes in here and has a camp like that … This is the best we’ve seen him since we acquired him. You continue to go down that path and continue to play well.”

A popular teammate, Sanchez’s chances to make the team similarly were disrupted by an offseason acquisition when the White Sox traded for Brett Lawrie and moved him to second base.

A slick defender, Sanchez also had a nice camp at the plate, hitting .333/.368/.593 with six doubles, a triple, two home runs and six RBIs in 54 at-bats. But the White Sox want Sanchez to continue to play every day and know what they have should they need his services.

“That’s a tough one, too,” Ventura said. “Some of the acquisitions that we’ve got kind of changes the dynamics.

“(But) I don’t think you ever go through a season where you don’t need guys from the minor leagues, so I think that’s the message to him.”

Luis Robert leaves Arizona Fall League game with injury

Luis Robert leaves Arizona Fall League game with injury

White Sox prospect Luis Robert headed to the Arizona Fall League to get more playing time after injuries limited to 50 games in 2018.

He just got hurt in the Arizona Fall League.

Robert is playing with the Glendale Desert Dogs in the AFL and left Friday's game with an injury.

It's not clear what the injury was, but Robert walked off on his own power. He also has pulled out of the Bowman Hitting Challenge (a modified home run derby) that will take place Saturday.

Robert, the No. 4 White Sox prospect and No. 44 overall prospect according to MLB Pipeline, was 1-for-3 in Friday's game before exiting. He has hit safely in all four games in the AFL, going 5-for-17 (.294) with a walk and three strikeouts, but no extra base hits.

The 21-year-old is the third youngest player on the team and the AFL is a respected offseason league for prospects. A good showing from Robert would be a sign that he is beginning to develop his talent into playable tools.

The injury could be minor so no need to ring the alarm bells yet, but the AFL season is barely more than a month long. Even a short-term injury could prevent him from making up for some of the lost playing time from the 2018 minor league season.

Sonny Gray is available: Could he be a one-year stopgap for the White Sox?

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USA TODAY

Sonny Gray is available: Could he be a one-year stopgap for the White Sox?

The White Sox have a hole or two to plug in their starting rotation. Could Sonny Gray be an answer?

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Friday that he's looking to trade Gray away from the Bronx this winter.

Gray isn't as attractive an add as he was a few years back, when he was coming off a sensational 2015 campaign that saw him post a 2.73 ERA and log 208 innings. He went to the All-Star Game and finished third in the AL Cy Young vote that year.

Since, he's been less successful. He made just 22 starts with the Oakland Athletics in 2016 and had a 5.69 ERA. The following season, he started with a strong 3.43 ERA in 16 starts for the A's before the midseason trade that sent him to the Yankees, where he made 11 starts with a 3.72 ERA. This season didn't go too well, earning Gray a move to the bullpen. He finished with a 4.90 ERA in 30 games, only 23 of those being starts. He threw just 29.1 innings over his final 10 appearances of the season, three of which were starts. He had a 5.26 ERA with 50 walks in 113 innings as a starter in 2018.

Those numbers won't leap off the page (in a positive way) for anyone, but there's no doubt that a potential deal for Gray would be a low-risk move for the White Sox. For a team looking to add 40 percent of a starting rotation, being able to do so cheaply — be it from a dollar or prospect standpoint — would be a good thing, especially if the strategy ends up being to simply add one-year fill-ins while Michael Kopech recovers from Tommy John surgery and Dylan Cease makes his way to the major leagues.

However, Gray's 57-walk total from the 2018 season could be something the White Sox would want to stay away from. After all, White Sox pitchers led the AL with 653 walks this season. They also had five of the top 21 walk-issuing pitchers in the Junior Circuit: Lucas Giolito led the league with 90, James Shields was third with 78, Reynaldo Lopez was fifth with 75, Hector Santiago was 15th with 60, and Carlos Rodon was 21st with 55. Gray slotted in right ahead of Rodon.

But Gray has obviously produced results in the past, and whether the White Sox are looking to simply plug the holes in the 2019 staff or potentially find a sign-and-flip candidate for the 2019 trade deadline — he's slated to hit free agency after the 2019 season — Gray could fit that bill. One thing's for sure: He's available.