KANSAS CITY -- White Sox outfielder Jacob May earned his way on to the Opening Day roster via a stellar performance during Spring Training.
But with a 2-for-36 showing in the big leagues, including a run-scoring single during a 6-1 loss to the Royals on Monday night, May also proved more seasoning was needed in the Minors. The 25-year-old switch-hitter was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte following the team's second straight setback, and outfielder Willy Garcia was recalled from Charlotte prior to Tuesday's game at Kauffman Stadium.
"He might have been a little overmatched. That's just the bottom line," manager Rick Renteria said. "You want to make excuses for it. Might have been a little overmatched right now. He had a great spring, showed a lot of hard work, tenacity, even going and working with the guys and trying to get himself back on track, trying to keep his confidence up.
"His energy has always been the same. It's very consistent. He's done everything for the work in the field and working with the guys in the cages, and everything else we could have asked of him. He was doing everything he needed to do. Just things weren't happening."
The story on May when he broke White Sox camp was one centered on a top-notch defensive outfielder and baserunner who didn't need to contribute a ton offensively at the bottom of the order. But with Leury Garcia's emergence and May's struggles, he would have been relegated to pinch-hitter, pinch-runner and defensive replacement.
That concept didn't jive with the five starts per week talked about for May during Spring Training by Renteria, who admitted May needed to get more regular playing time. The harsh reality of May's first trip to the Majors was not lost on the hard-working young man.
"It's no joke. You've got to come up here every day and you've got to go to war in the box and on defense," May said. "It's the best of the best and they're here for a reason. You've got to stay sharp defensively and on your swing. You've just got to develop a good routine and stick to your system.
"I definitely have to get better. Spring is one thing, but when the lights turn on, these guys play for keeps and you've got to be able to compete. I've got to go down and get better."
Willy Garcia figures to be the callup from Charlotte, with Garcia having a three-game stint at Target Field during Melky Cabrera's paternity leave. Garcia, 24, has a .294 average and a .924 OPS, with four homers and 13 RBIs for Charlotte.
"He's more of a corner guy, a wing guy," White Sox director of player development Chris Getz said during a recent interview about Garcia. "But he definitely can go over there [to center] for a couple of days."
Garcia, 24, was batting .294 (20-for-68) with four doubles, four home runs, 13 RBIs, 13 runs scored and 11 walks in 18 games with the Knights. He ranks among the International League leaders in home runs (tied for fifth), OPS (eighth, .924), walks (tied for 10th), slugging percentage (11th, .529) and on-base percentage (12th, .395).
He was with the White Sox from April 14-16 while Melky Cabrera was on the paternity list and appeared in his first two Major League games that weekend at Minnesota, going 2-for-7 with a double.