Jeff Keppinger has been rehabbing a shoulder injury since last season and today the White Sox decided to simply drop him from the 40-man roster, designating the veteran infielder for assignment.
Keppinger is under contract for $4 million this season and $4.5 million in 2015 as part of an odd three-year deal handed out by then-general manager Ken Williams in December of 2012. He hit .253 with four homers and a .600 OPS in 117 games in Year 1 of the contract and now the White Sox are willing to eat the rest of the deal.
Even if he’s healthy Keppinger is best suited to be a bench player at age 34 and he was hitting just .256 with a .707 OPS in 11 games rehabbing at Double-A. No team is going to claim his contract off waivers, so once he’s released by the White Sox expect Keppinger to latch on elsewhere with a minor-league contract.
The White Sox announced this afternoon that outfielder Adam Eaton was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring.
Eaton left last night’s game against the Indians with the injury. The 25-year-old told Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com after the game that his hamstring has been bothering him for a little over a week and has gotten worse. He missed five games last month with an injury to the tendon in his left knee, so some time off his legs could be a good thing.
Acquired from the Diamondbacks in the three-team Mark Trumbo deal over the winter, Eaton is batting .276/.363/.378 with seven extra-base hits (including one home run), 14 RBI, two stolen bases, and 20 runs scored in 25 games this season. With the Eaton move, the White Sox now have seven players on the disabled list. Avisail Garcia, Conor Gillaspie, Jeff Keppinger, Chris Sale, Felipe Paulino, and Nate Jones are the others.
In addition to placing Eaton on the disabled list, the White Sox have called up left-hander Frank De Los Santos from Triple-A Charlotte and claimed outfielder Moises Sierra off waivers from the Blue Jays. Jones has been moved to the 60-day disabled list to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Sierra.
According to Scott Merkin of MLB.com, the White Sox announced this afternoon that second baseman Gordon Beckham has suffered a strained left oblique and will be shut down from baseball activities for seven days.
We’re about two weeks away from the start of the regular season, so Beckham will have to make quick progress to avoid a stint on the disabled list. And oblique injuries are known to linger. If he is forced to miss the start of the season, it could open the door for prospect Marcus Semien to play second base. One possible alternative, Jeff Keppinger, is already expected to begin the year on the disabled list due to soreness in his surgically-repaired shoulder.
Beckham, 27, hit .267/.322/.372 with five home runs, 24 RBI, and five stolen bases in 102 games last season.