I’m not the biggest proponent of vibes in the clubhouse or in the dugout being all that meaningful because guess when players are happy…when they’re winning, but having good dudes around who can actually help out at the end of the roster is plenty useful. The White Sox brought back outfielder Billy Hamilton this offseason, signing him to a minor league deal, and now two weeks away from the regular season it looks like he could be on the Opening Day roster.
Hamilton, 32, spent the 2021 season with the White Sox, before splitting the 2022 season in the Miami Marlins and Minnesota Twins organizations. The right-handed hitter isn’t going to give a team much on offense, carrying a career .618 OPS into 2023, but Hamilton is still a good option to have on the bench to come in as a defensive replacement in the outfield and remains a great base stealer a decade into his MLB career.
The last few spots on any team’s roster will undoubtedly change throughout an MLB season, but you still get a sense of what a coaching staff and front office values the most at the start of a season. The Athletic’s James Fegan wrote about the White Sox Opening Day roster and he projected Hamilton making it as the team’s fifth outfielder.
Via The Athletic.
Hamilton is Hamilton. He’s still very fast, he still seems to get great jumps and reads all the time, and he’s still a smiling and joyous presence in every clubhouse card game. And while he laid down a walk-off bunt the other day, the bat doesn’t lend itself to regular starts.
While Hamilton’s presence on the roster limits some offensive moves late in games, he also provides something that’s missing on the White Sox bench. If we assume that Oscar Colas will be the starting right fielder, which right now it seems likely, then you have Eloy Jimenez, Andrew Benintendi and Luis Robert Jr. as the other three outfielders. Other than Benintendi, who else do you trust in center field if Robert gets banged up early in the season?
There really hasn’t been anyone else stepping up in spring training for the White Sox to pick and you already know one of the bench spots is going to backup catcher Seby Zavala, while Leury Garcia is another lock at least for the first few months because he’s still owed $11 million.
If not Hamilton, that last bench spot may go to non-roster invitee Hanser Alberto. You can read more about his breakout spring and his previous link to White Sox manager Pedro Grifol here.
Feeling good about Hamilton may not be strictly a fan or clubhouse opinion either, as the speedy outfielder did play for the 2019 Kansas City Royals, when Grifol was part of the coaching staff.
So, if the White Sox do go with Hamilton, here’s what James Fegan currently projects as the team’s 26-man roster on Opening Day.
Yasmani Grandal, Andrew Vaughn, Elvis Andrus, Tim Anderson, Yoan Moncada, Andrew Benintendi, Luis Robert Jr., Oscar Colas, Eloy Jimenez, Seby Zavala, Leury Garcia, Gavin Sheets, Billy Hamilton
Lance Lynn, Dylan Cease, Lucas Giolito, Michael Kopech, Mike Clevinger, Reynaldo Lopez, Aaron Bummer, Kendall Graveman, Jose Ruiz, Joe Kelly, Jimmy Lambert, Jake Diekman, Nick Avila
We talked about the ongoing bench competition on this week’s Pinwheels And Ivy Podcast. A special shoutout to Nick Murawski, who joined the show!
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Hamilton is useful as a pinch runner or defensive replacement, but is so bad as a hitter that he is completely unplayable as a backup starter. His OPS against right handed pitching has been under .600 for the past 5 years. That’s worse than Adam Eaton. I’ll be surprised if they give Hamilton a spot over someone like Alberto, who is a .270 lifetime hitter. As it is, Garcia is their lone backup at SS, 2b, 3b, and is also probably their best OF backup. That’s why the projections for this team are so dismal, their depth is just non… Read more »
Stefani, are you any relation to Tony, ex-Sox manager?
I even got paid 100 dollar usa in lower than 5 weeks and did virtually clean jobs at home. Because I lost my previous jobs I got thus nervous and that i tell God. I even have this on-line business started 1st level .
the subsequent web….. http://maxbenefit7.blogspot.com/