Yolmer Sanchez has been a killer on the auto correct of many a White Sox beat writer since day one of Spring Training. Yolmer (whose name my auto correct wants to change to Holmer) is the only Yolmer to have ever played Major League Baseball. Yolmer is an up-beat, positive guy in the clubhouse. He seems to always call people “my friend,” whether he knows their name or not. Yolmer has been a favorite of White Sox manager Ricky Renteria since the latter took the job… and possibly even before. It’s possible it’s because of the former’s personality but, more likely, because of his production.
Yolmer (I’m going to buck convention and keep using his first name in this post so as to teach my auto correct a lesson) has been an everyday player since April 25th. The Sox have played 22 games over that stretch and Yolmer has started 15 and played in 19. Over the 61 at bats he’s accrued in that run, he’s slashing .361/.412/.475.
Two immediate issues have allowed for Yolmer to take the bulk of the playing time since the April showers turned to… well… May showers.
One: The White Sox have been desperate for left handed production in the lineup. As a switch hitter, Yolmer provides in that department. Renteria has hit Yolmer mostly in the two- or seven-spot in the lineup and, while the Sox really could use a left hander who’s a middle-of-the-order thumper, it’s worked out well.
Two: Tyler Saladino, despite taking the second longest average at-bats for the White Sox this year (4.45 pitches per plate appearance, a rate that would be good for a top-five placement in MLB if he was qualified with enough PAs), hasn’t been able to put the ball in play enough. Saladino has walked plenty (13 walks is second on the team, behind Omar Narvaez and Todd Frazier) but his 34 strikeouts (also good for third on the team, behind Matt Davidson and Tim Anderson) have been too much to bear.
That brings us to the tipping point, perhaps, on Yolmer. He hasn’t walked a whole lot—just six times in 99 trips—but his 21 K’s are somewhat concerning. That Yolmer likes to swing isn’t a bad thing in a vacuum, it’s just that the White Sox have plenty of hitters who fit that description.
While the White Sox wait for Yoan Moncada (heir to the keystone and potential usurper of Most Popular White Sox Whose First Name Starts With A ‘Y’) it will be interesting to see how quickly Renteria shuffles his options at second base.