Colorado’s starting pitchers have combined for an NL-worst 5.75 ERA, so the Rockies are calling up a pair of prospects to join the rotation.
Alex White, who was acquired from the Indians along with Drew Pomeranz in the Ubaldo Jimenez trade last season, will start tonight. Christian Friedrich, who was the 25th overall pick in the 2008 draft, will make his big-league debut tomorrow night.
White got knocked around in his first taste of the majors last season, posting a 7.01 ERA while serving up 15 homers in 51 innings, but the 23-year-old right-hander’s numbers in the minors have consistently been very impressive. He’s posted a sub-3.00 ERA at every stop, including a 2.42 ERA and 49/13 K/BB ratio with just one homer allowed in nine starts at Triple-A.
Friedrich’s minor-league numbers aren’t so pretty, as his ERA was above 5.00 both last season and in 2010, but his secondary numbers have remained strong and the 24-year-old left-hander posted a 3.00 ERA and 27/4 K/BB ratio in 30 innings at Triple-A to earn the call-up.
The White Sox have reportedly picked up first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Indians, according to Stadium. The return for Alonso is expected to be nothing more flashy than a “fringe prospect,” though the minutiae of the deal is still pending a formal announcement from both teams.
Alonso, 31, inked a two-year deal with the Indians during the 2017 offseason. His first campaign with the club yielded a modest .250/.317/.421 batting line, 23 home runs, .738 OPS and 0.7 fWAR in 574 PA. The real boon for the White Sox may not be a passable veteran bat, however, but something more intangible — like Alonso’s clout with his brother-in-law and highly-coveted free agent slugger, Manny Machado.
While Alonso’s 2018 output represented a significant decline from the career-best numbers he posted in 2017, he’s still a solid contributor at the plate and, more importantly, slated to remain under team control for the next two years with just $8 million owed in 2019 and a $9 million option in 2020. As MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince notes, the $17 million the Indians just erased from their payroll should give them enough room to accommodate the contracts for right-handers Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber — a bonus regardless of what they happen to get in the trade.