CHICAGO -- Oscar Colás began this season as the starting right fielder for the White Sox and an important new component of the team’s lineup.
On Tuesday, the 24-year-old, Chicago's No. 2 prospect and the No. 76 prospect in baseball per MLB Pipeline, was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte as part of 11 roster moves made by the team prior to the start of the Twins series at Guaranteed Rate Field. Colás had a slash line of .211/.265/.276 with one home run and seven RBIs over 25 games, and he was mired in a 7-for-46 slump with one extra-base hit in his past 16 games.
Manager Pedro Grifol said Colás “needs to go play,” which was not going to happen at this point with the White Sox.
“He's gotten an opportunity to get some experience here in the big leagues, figure out what this is about,” Grifol said. “What the pitching's about, the umpiring is about, what the actual big league game is about.
“Now, he's got some sort of a library to go down there and continue to develop and perform and get consistent at-bats. Him being the type of talent that he is, the prospect that he is for us, a big part of the future, he needs to go back down there and play.”
Grifol wasn’t indicating Colás broke camp with the team to gain Major League experience, as the left-handed hitter was firmly in the outfield picture since the outset of the past offseason. But now, Colás has a little bit of everything to work on with the Knights.
“He needs to slow down the game a little bit,” Grifol said. “He's a really good defender, but he needed to continue to develop out there in the outfield. His plate discipline wasn't exactly matching the Major League level at this particular time.
“The talent is there. Now he can use this experience here when he goes down there to continue his development. He wasn't producing the way we anticipated, and that happens. This is a tough level to play at. Some guys get here and produce right away, some guys don't. Some guys need to go back down and continue to develop.”
“I would have liked to get a little more [outfield reps] in Spring Training than I did, but that’s part of it,” Sheets said. “Now, I just get as many reps as possible before the games and go out there and do it to the best of my ability. [I'm] in left as well this year, getting a little more experience in different spots and just [building] off that.”
Chicago also selected Billy Hamilton's contract from Charlotte on Tuesday. He will be used as a defensive replacement and pinch-runner.
“This game is not easy. … [Colás] is a young guy,” Hamilton said. “He’s going to be a really, really great player. It’s just, whenever you get sent down, you can’t be pouting about life, not getting your work in. I’m pretty sure he’s going to continue to get better and be better, like he already is. It’s a hard game.”
Tim Anderson’s return from the injured list was probably the most significant of the 11 roster moves, as the White Sox went 3-15 while he was sidelined with a sprained left knee.
“Hopefully, we can start something new today and try to forget about the past,” Anderson said. “We’ve seen it. We watched it. I watched it. You all watched it. You all wrote about it. You all talked about it. Hopefully, we can start something new here today.”