GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura promised that a final roster is coming soon. He just wasn’t ready to reveal it as spring camp was set to break Thursday.
At least two more moves were made Thursday, as pitchers Brad Penny and Scott Carroll were reassigned to minor league camp. Penny, a 36-year-old veteran of 14 major league seasons, sounded agreeable to a minor league assignment.
“On Friday we’ll have that situated,” Ventura said about the roster before the team boarded its bus to Scottsdale and the final Cactus League game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. “So the rest of it has been finalized, but that one [spot], we are still going through it and we’ll have that tomorrow.”
That one remaining decision is in the bullpen. The assumption is that the White Sox want to see one more outing from last week’s waiver claim Kyle Drabek. He pitched a scoreless 1 1/3 innings earlier this week. He is expected to make the club.
If the White Sox don’t go with Drabek, then Maikel Cleto could be an option since he is on the 40-man roster. But the right-hander melted down with an 11.74 ERA over 7 2/3 innings this spring.
If the White Sox go with Drabek, options for Cleto would be to release him or get him through waivers and send him to the minor leagues. As the roster shakes out now, the White Sox appear to be in need of two more 40-man roster spots.
“I’m happy,” Ventura said about the six-week camp. “You get to where you are at and want to make sure everybody is ready to go. That’s the biggest thing is everybody for the most part is ready to go. We do have some nicks here and there that you would like to see cleaned up health wise with guys but for the most part we feel like we’ll be complete in a couple of weeks.”
Chris Sale and Jake Petricka will open the season on the disabled list, but both are expected to be back by the middle of April. Without Petricka, the White Sox could end up splitting the setup role between left-hander Zach Duke and right-hander Zach Putnam.
“Both of them can work as setup guys, especially with Jake being out,” Ventura said. “You are going to have guys step up and move into those roles. Both of those guys fit that description and are probably best suited to do that right now.”
Penny had a 6.889 ERA over 15 2/3 Cactus League innings, getting five appearances and three starts. He struggled in his final outing, but showed enough that the White Sox were interested in keeping him in the organization for pitching depth. Penny is expected to be used as a starter at Triple-A Charlotte.
“I just need innings,” Penny said. “I want to get out there every fifth day and pitch and I think it’s better for me to stay starting right now just so I can get the innings and get everything going. But just take it one start at a time.”
The White Sox now have 34 players officially remaining in big league camp: 18 pitchers, three catchers, eight infielders and five outfielders.