Juan Minaya

White Sox activate Dylan Covey from IL, designate Juan Minaya for assignment

White Sox activate Dylan Covey from IL, designate Juan Minaya for assignment

The White Sox starting rotation received a boost on Saturday in the form of Dylan Covey.

Ahead of Saturday's game against the Athletics, the White Sox activated Covey from the 10-day injured list. In a corresponding move, the team designated reliever Juan Minaya for assignment.

Covey, who will start Saturday's game, landed on the injured list on June 9 with right shoulder inflammation. Although Covey holds a 4.58 ERA in nine games (seven starts) this season, he posted back-to-back solid outings before hitting the shelf. He allowed one earned run in six innings on May 31 against the Indians and two earned runs in five innings on June 5 against the Nationals.

The White Sox starting rotation has been a revolving door of sorts this season as Michael Kopech and Carlos Rodon recover from Tommy John surgery. Since Covey went down, the team has started Odrisamer Despaigne (June 10, 16 and 22), Manny Bañuelos (June 11 and 15), Carson Fulmer (June 25, though in a bullpen day) and most recently Ross Detwiler (June 28 and July 3). Dylan Cease has since made his major league debut, too, of course.

Detwiler has pitched admirably, allowing just two earned runs in each of his two outings. Whether he will continue to start or move to the bullpen is yet to be seen, though the fact that Minaya was DFA-ed rather than Detwiler says something.

Minaya holds a 3.90 ERA in 22 games/27 2/3 innings this season, though 10 of the 12 earned runs he's allowed this season came in June and July.

Following today's moves, the White Sox 40-man roster now stands at 39.

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Where the Opening Day roster stands after White Sox outright Juan Minaya

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USA TODAY

Where the Opening Day roster stands after White Sox outright Juan Minaya

It might not have seemed like a big deal, the White Sox outrighting relief pitcher Juan Minaya on Friday.

Minaya had a 21.21 ERA in five spring appearances, and that earned him a reassignment to minor league camp and opened up a spot on the team's 40-man roster. While Minaya's regular-season numbers haven't been nearly as horrible as they were during Cactus League play this spring — as evidenced by a 3.28 ERA in 46.2 innings last season — there are a lot of younger relievers who might be key figures in the bullpen of the future. The White Sox opted to give those guys preference heading into another rebuilding season on the South Side.

But another round of spring cuts — Randall Delgado went to minor league camp Friday, too — gets us closer to the White Sox roster for Opening Day.

Minaya looked to be a prime contender for a spot in the bullpen, especially after finishing the season incredibly strong, with a 0.73 ERA in 12 appearances over the final month of the 2018 campaign. He was also out of options. But now that spot will go to someone else.

Who? Well, Alex Colome, Kelvin Herrera, Nate Jones and Jace Fry all figure to be locks for the bullpen. Youngsters Ian Hamilton and Caleb Frare could claim spots after getting their first tastes of the big leagues last season. Ryan Burr has been excellent this spring, the owner of a 1.35 ERA in five appearances. That could get him a spot. And then there's the need for a long man, a job that would likely go to Manny Banuelos or Dylan Covey. Banuelos, who the White Sox traded for this offseason, is out of options and despite a tough spring, it'd be weird for them to trade for a player and then risk losing him via waivers by knocking him off the 40-man roster. So maybe he's the final piece of the bullpen puzzle.

Minaya getting outrighted also opens up a spot on the 40-man roster, one that could logically go to Ervin Santana should the White Sox decide on him to be the fifth starter in the rotation alongside Opening Day locks Carlos Rodon, Reynaldo Lopez, Lucas Giolito and Ivan Nova. General manager Rick Hahn said earlier this week that the team doesn't necessarily need a fifth starter for the first few weeks of the season because of the way the schedule is set up with numerous off days. If Santana, coming back from a finger injury that limited him to five starts last season with the Minnesota Twins, isn't quite ready for Opening Day, the White Sox could go with another bullpen arm and wait to add Santana to the active roster until he's needed. But the easier way to go might be to have him take Minaya's vacated spot on the 40-man.

So that's the pitching staff. Where are the White Sox with their complement of position players?

The catching tandem is obvious, Welington Castillo and James McCann, and the starting infield, plus a designated hitter, is pretty well set in Jose Abreu, Yolmer Sanchez, Tim Anderson, Yoan Moncada and Yonder Alonso. The Opening Day outfield is less of a certainty, but Daniel Palka, Adam Engel and Jon Jay would be a good bet. So that leaves two bench spots, which would figure to go to Leury Garcia and Jose Rondon. That is, of course, not good news for the recently concussed Nicky Delmonico, though it's possible he could edge out someone for a spot if he plays well in his nearing return to the Cactus League lineup.

What throws a wrench into this whole thing is the upcoming arrival of Eloy Jimenez, expected to happen at some point during the month of April. Basically, it means one of those outfield jobs is temporary. Which one? Good question. Jay doesn't figure to be going anywhere, and Jimenez will likely be an everyday player — perhaps the only such player in the White Sox outfield — once he arrives. That leaves two roster spots for the trio of Palka, Engel and Garcia, though Rondon could potentially be squeezed out with Garcia able to play the same infield positions Rondon can.

But that's a question the White Sox don't have to answer for another month or so. As for the Opening Day roster, those decisions will come quicker, but there's a tad more clarity after Friday's cuts.

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White Sox put Nate Jones on disabled list, bring Juan Minaya back from Triple-A

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USA TODAY

White Sox put Nate Jones on disabled list, bring Juan Minaya back from Triple-A

The White Sox will be without one of the more important pieces of the back end of their bullpen for at least the next 10 days.

The team placed Nate Jones on the 10-day disabled list Wednesday, the right-handed reliever suffering from a "pronator muscle strain in his right arm."

Jones figured to be one of the few members of the Opening Day relief corps who could stick around through this rebuilding process given his age and team-friendly contract, not to mention his flashes of brilliance in the past. Things haven't gone perfectly for Jones, however, as he's got a 4.01 ERA in 24.2 innings.

Jones started the ninth inning of Tuesday night's win but was pulled after facing three batters and retiring only one of them.

Manager Rick Renteria has used Jones as one of a group of relievers he mixes and matches at the ends of close games, teaming him with Jace Fry, Bruce Rondon and Joakim Soria to get through save situations.

Juan Minaya returns to the active roster from Triple-A Charlotte to take Jones' spot. Minaya has pitched in five games for the White Sox this season and owns a 10.80 ERA in those big league appearances. With Charlotte, Minaya has a 4.24 ERA in 19 appearances.