The good and bad: How former White Sox players are faring this season

  • Dodgers reliever Craig Kimbrel will return to Guaranteed Rate Field this week to face his former team. He's having a so-so season with 11 saves but had a high earned-run average in May.

    Dodgers reliever Craig Kimbrel will return to Guaranteed Rate Field this week to face his former team. He's having a so-so season with 11 saves but had a high earned-run average in May. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 6/6/2022 3:43 PM

After playing six straight road games at Toronto and Tampa Bay in the most difficult stretch of this season's schedule, the White Sox were off Monday.

They open a six-game homestand Tuesday night against another heavyweight -- the Dodgers -- before moving into a weekend series vs. the Rangers.

 

Some familiar faces will be back at Guaranteed Rate Field this week, so let's check in and see how former Sox are faring.

Craig Kimbrel

A terrible fit after being acquired in a trade with the Cubs last July, the all-star reliever was anything but that while going 2-2 with a 5.09 ERA in 24 appearances with the White Sox.

A change of scenery was obviously needed, and Kimbrel was flipped to the Dodgers for outfielder AJ Pollock on April 1, a week before the regular season started.

Pollock (.216/.242/.344, 3 HR, 11 RBI) is off to a forgettable start with the Sox and Kimbrel is also struggling and still trying to get his mechanics smoothed out.

The right-hander has 11 saves as Los Angeles' new closer, but he's given up 8 earned runs over 18 innings (4.00 ERA) overall and was really bad in May (6.30 ERA).

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Steele Walker

Who now?

After the 2019 season, the White Sox traded Walker to Texas for Nomar Mazara.

It turned out to be a lousy deal for the Sox. Mazara was a bust in right field, he flopped again with the Tigers last year and he's now with the Padres.

Walker was the White Sox's second-round draft pick in 2018 out of the University of Oklahoma.

After slashing .297/.395/.487 with 3 homers and 9 RBI at Class AAA Round Rock this year, the outfielder joined Rangers over the weekend and was 0-for-4 Sunday in his major-league debut.

Carlos Rodon

Much like last season with the Sox, Rodon was spectacular in April, going 3-0 with a 1.17 ERA in 4 starts for the Giants.

Rodon tailed way off in May and was 1-4 with a 5.67 ERA in 5 trips to the mound. As usual, staying healthy is the biggest key for the left-hander, who departed the White Sox as a free agent and signed a two-year, $44 million contract with San Francisco in mid-March.

Cesar Hernandez

He was good with Cleveland before the Sox acquired him in a trade last July.

And, after leaving the White Sox as a free agent after the 2021 season, Hernandez is good again with the Nationals.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The Sox got Hernandez to fill a hole at second base and provide some left-handed pop in the lineup, but he hit .232 in 53 games and made 5 errors in a very short stay.

With Washington this year, Hernandez is batting .270 and was tied for seventh in MLB with 63 hits through Sunday.

Nick Madrigal

The Sox's second-base shuffle started when Madrigal went down for the season with a torn hamstring at this time last year.

He was still sent to the Cubs a month later in the Kimbrel trade and is back on the field this season.

Spending such a long time on the injured list figured to take a toll, and Madrigal is definitely scuffling on the North Side. He also missed three weeks in May with a back injury.

The most disconcerting stat?

In 215 plate appearances for the White Sox last year, Madrigal only struck out 17 times. In 106 plate appearances with the Cubs this season, he's struck out 16 times.

Luis Gonzalez

Claimed off waivers by the Giants last August after getting limited looks with the White Sox, the 26-year-old outfielder is thriving with his new team.

San Francisco brought Gonzalez up from AAA Sacramento in late April and he was voted National League Rookie of the Month for May after batting .368 with 7 doubles, 1 home run and 13 RBI.

Zack Collins

Traded to the Blue Jays for another catcher (Reese McGuire) April 3, Collins came out swinging for Toronto with 3 homers and 6 RBI in a six-game stretch.

A 1-for-26 slump followed, and Collins was optioned to Class AAA Buffalo May 23.

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