When White Sox GM Rick Hahn traded minor league RHP Jeff Soptic to the San Francisco Giants for 3B Conor Gillaspie it wasn't flashy. The White Sox had a very right handed lineup and were looking to add a left-handed bat. The idea was Gillaspie would compete with Brent Morel for that final 25 man roster spot. Gillaspie won the roster spot out of Spring Training. It looked like he would get a start here and there. He would also give manager Robin Ventura some flexibility off the bench. Plans changed though when Gordon Beckham became sidelined with a broken hambone in his wrist. Beckham will have surgery sometimes this week and is expected to be out 6-8 weeks. With the injury, Jeff Keppinger has moved over to second base and Gillaspie is getting his shot at third base full time. And let me tell you, Gillaspie is making the most of it early on.
Conor Gillaspie was a 1st round pick in 2008, 37th overall in the amateur draft. He was stuck behind Pablo Sandoval in San Francisco depth wise. Gillaspie has a very short compact swing that he doesn't try to do too much with. He lacks the typical power that a third baseman usually has, but his ability to drive the ball is above average. In his short stint with the White Sox, he is hitting .444. In 27 AB's, Gillaspie has only struck out 4 times. He has no walks on the season, but is breaking up the strikeouts the White Sox are experiencing in the lineup. Defensively, he has shown he has more than a capable glove at third base and his arm is strong right over the top.
With Gillaspie's role changed now for the next 6-8 weeks, so will his confidence. It's a big relief knowing that you are going to get a opportunity to play every day instead of spot starts and pitch hitting. Gillaspie could make for some difficult decisions upon Beckham's return. Beckham had a very strong start to his season and the injury hurts the White Sox. I expect he will get is starting job back when healthy. What the White Sox are learning now though is that they have depth. Gillapsie could turn himself into a essential part of the team or become trade bait for another piece the White Sox may need. Right now though, Rick Hahn's minor move in Spring Training to acquire Conor Gillaspie has turned into a big move.
Filed under: Uncategorized