The White Sox announced this afternoon that they have designated the right-hander Declan Cronin For the mission. The move opens up a spot on the club's 40-man roster for the left-hander Tim Hill, whom the club signed to a one-year contract earlier today. The club would need to make an additional 40-man roster move at some point to reach its reported agreement with the catcher Martin Maldonado Also official.
Cronin, 26, joined the White Sox after being selected in the 36th round of the 2019 draft. He impressed in the lower levels of the minors in 2019 after being drafted, with a 2.88 ERA in 20 appearances split between rookie ball and the Single-A level. Cronin has not played at the Single-A level. 2020 due to the cancellation of the minor league season and he struggled upon his return to professional play, with a 4.56 ERA in 35 games split between High-A and Double-A in 2021 as his walk rate rose from 8.1% in 2020. 2019 up to 10.8% in 2021. And for the good Lucky for the righty, he bounced back somewhat in 2022 and performed well enough to reach the Triple-A level by midseason.
In 74 2/3 innings of work at the Triple-A level over the past two seasons, Cronin has pitched passably with a 3.74 ERA despite a strikeout rate of just 16.8%. That performance was enough to earn Cronin a mid-season call-up in 2023. Cronin eventually pitched in nine games down the stretch for the Southern League, although he struggled mightily to the tune of a 9.00 ERA in eleven innings. In that short cup of coffee in the major leagues, Cronin struck out only 15.7% of the batters he faced while walking (13.7%).
Moving forward, Cronin will be subject to waivers where any team willing to offer him a spot on the 40-man roster can claim him. While his results at the big league level and low hitting totals in recent years certainly raise eyebrows for interested teams, the right-hander has posted a ground ball rate north of 50% at every level of his professional career, including a 55.9% clip at the big league level. This penchant for ground balls could make Cronin a depth option worth considering for clubs. If he passes waivers, the White Sox will have the opportunity to assign him directly to the minors where he can be retained without using a 40-man roster spot for the 2024 season.
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