Tyler Flowers was handed the starting catcher job following A.J. Pierzynski’s departure as a free agent, but he’s hit just .206 with 70 strikeouts in 64 games and now the White Sox are bringing in another option behind the plate.
Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com reports that the White Sox are calling up Triple-A catcher Josh Phegley, who’s hitting .316 with 15 homers, 18 doubles, and a .966 OPS in 61 games for Charlotte.
That’s certainly production worthy of a call-up, but Phegley is 25 years old and has never hit anywhere near that well before. Last season at Triple-A he hit just .266 with six homers and a .680 OPS in 102 games and his career slugging percentage in five seasons as a minor leaguer is .417.
Pierzynski, meanwhile, has hit .280 with seven homers and a .745 OPS in 62 games for the Rangers to basically match his career averages at age 36.
The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.
Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.
Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.