CHICAGO – One day, the White Sox hope to have the kind of depth that can withstand any kind of emergency.
Starting next season, that might be the case. This season, the depth is a glaring problem.
Sunday afternoon’s 10-3 loss to the Yankees at Guaranteed Rate Field offered a prime example.
Making his second start for the Sox after being claimed off waivers from the Reds a month ago and signing a minor league contract, Odrisamer Despaigne did a decent job of fooling New York batters in the first two innings before giving up five runs in the third on five hits and three walks.
“I was feeling good at the beginning of the game, attacking the strike zone with my fastball,” Despaigne said through an interpreter. “The third inning, I started falling behind. I tried to fight back, but I couldn’t do it. They have good hitters, and if you make mistakes, you’re going to pay for it.”
Despaigne is replacing the injured Dylan Covey in the Sox’s rotation. Covey became a starter after Carlos Rodon went down in May with an elbow injury that required season-ending Tommy John surgery.
The 32-year-old journeyman Despaigne lasted only 42/3 innings and allowed seven runs on nine hits and four walks as the Sox lost their second straight to the Yankees.
The Sox have top pitching prospect Dylan Cease waiting in the wings at Triple-A Charlotte, but general manager Rick Hahn repeatedly has said the 23-year-old righty is not going to be rushed up because of a need on the major league roster.
Cease also has had some recent struggles at Triple-A, giving up 11 runs on 15 hits and eight walks in 101/3 innings over his past three starts.
The Sox’s depth could be tested even more as third baseman Yoán Moncada and catcher Welington Castillo both made early exits with back problems.
Returning to the starting lineup after missing four games with upper back tightness, Moncada struck out in the fourth inning and was lifted from the game.
“He’s able to get through the ball; it’s just the finish,” manager Rick Renteria said. “It was a good test. Calm it down and we’ll see where he’s at. He should be ready for the [Cubs on Tuesday].”
Castillo also exited in the fourth with lower back tightness.
José Abreu gave the Sox the early lead with a solo home run off starter James Paxton in the first inning, but the Yankees soon stormed back.
While winning the past two games to salvage a split in the series, New York outscored the Sox, 18-7.
“We split this series, and we took the series from them at their place,” Sox catcher James McCann said. “So we took the season series from a team that is one of the best in baseball. It’s not the way we wanted to finish today, but overall you have to be happy with taking a season series from a team like that.”