The White Sox announced this afternoon that they have designated the right-hander Declan Cronin for assignment. The move opens up a spot on the club’s 40-man left-handed roster. Tim Hill, with whom the club signed a one-year contract earlier today. The club will have to move 40 more players at some point to complete the reported receiver deal. Martin Maldonado official too.
Cronin, 26, joined the White Sox after being selected in the 36th round of the 2019 draft. He impressed at the lower levels of the minors in 2019 after being drafted, with a 2.88 ERA in 20 appearances split between the rookie ball and the Single-A level. Cronin did not play in 2020 due to the cancellation of the minor league season and struggled in his return to professional play, with a 4.56 ERA in 35 appearances split between High-A and Double-A. A in 2021 as his walk rate increased from 8.1% in 2019 to 10.8% in 2021. Fortunately for the right-hander, he rebounded somewhat in 2022 and performed well enough to reach the Triple level -A mid-season.
In 74 2/3 career innings of work at the Triple-A level over the past two seasons, Cronin performed acceptably with a 3.74 ERA despite a strikeout rate of just 16.8 percent. This performance was enough to earn Cronin a mid-season call-up in 2023. Cronin ultimately made nine appearances for the Southerners, although he struggled mightily to achieve a 9.00 ERA in eleven innings. In this brief cup of coffee in the majors, Cronin struck out just 15.7% of batters faced while walking 13.7%.
Going forward, Cronin will be exposed to waivers where any team willing to offer him a spot on their 40-man roster could claim him. While his big league results and low strikeout totals in recent years surely raise eyebrows among interested teams, the right-hander had 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 propensity for ground balls could make Cronin a depth option for clubs to consider. If he goes through waivers, the White Sox will have the option to assign him outright to the minors where he can be retained without using a 40-man roster spot for the 2024 season.
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