CHICAGO (CBS)- The White Sox are in the midst of a playoff push and have now filled one of the remaining holes on their roster. The team confirmed Thursday they have acquired second baseman Cesar Hernandez from the Indians in exchange for Double-A pitcher Konnor Pilkington.
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— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) July 29, 2021
Second base has been an area of need for the team since Nick Madrigal suffered a torn hamstring in early June that required season-ending surgery. In steps the 31-year-old Hernandez, a veteran of nine seasons in the majors.
Hitting .231 this season, Hernandez’s 18 homers are a career-high and with 47 RBI, he appears to be on his way to setting a new career mark there as well (71 in 2019). A career .272 hitter, Hernandez also brings defensive prowess to the table as well, having won a Gold Glove with Cleveland last season.
Hernandez will not immediately join the team for their series finale against the Royals in Kansas City. Rookie Andrew Vaughn, a converted first baseman who has played most of his time this season in left field, is listed as Thursday’s starting second baseman as the White Sox are resting several starters. Jose Abreu is sitting out with neck stiffness, left fielder Eloy Jimenez is out with groin tightness, and shortstop Tim Anderson has a scheduled day off.READ MORE: Car Crashes Into Near North Diner
That’s left the White Sox starting Leury Garcia at third base, Danny Mendick at shortstop, Gavin Sheets at first base, Adam Engel in left field, and Yoan Moncada at designated hitter.
Pilkington is not ranked among the top White Sox prospects. He is 4-4 with a 3.48 ERA in 14 starts for the Birmingham Barons this season, with a 0.92 WHIP, 71 strikeouts, and 21 walks in 62 innings. He was not ranked among the top 30 White Sox prospects, according to MLB Pipeline.
The Hernandez deal may just be the start for the White Sox as MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reported that the team has inquired about Pirates righty Richard Rodriguez and Orioles lefty Paul Fry as potential bullpen options.
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The White Sox aren't done with Trade Deadline pursuits after today's deal for Cesar Hernandez. As I reported on @MLBNetwork this morning, they've checked on #Pirates RHP Richard Rodriguez and #Orioles LHP Paul Fry, among other bullpen options. @MLB @670TheScore
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 29, 2021
There is still plenty of time for deals to be made before the deadline which is set for Friday, July 30 at 4 p.m. Eastern Time.