White Sox send down Gavin Sheets, recall right-hander Jimmy Lambert

The long-awaited move to option struggling left-handed hitter Gavin Sheets to Triple-A Charlotte took place before the game Friday night, but it came at a price.

Because the White Sox’ bullpen was short-handed, Jimmy Lambert was summoned from Charlotte. That transaction left the Sox with only three bench players this weekend.

“The issue is going to be what we do when [Lance] Lynn comes back,” manager Tony La Russa said. “I wish we had the issue of getting Timmy [Anderson] and Eloy [Jimenez]. We are in that period of time where we are playing a lot of games.

“One reason we survived this long with our issues [is because] we really have tried to protect our late-inning [relievers]. We’ve won some games where the earlier guys have stepped up, and they’ve pitched us late [in games] because we were protecting guys. We aren’t going to change that.”

Lynn, who made three rehab starts at Charlotte after having surgery on his right knee, is projected to return Tuesday in Detroit.

Meanwhile, Sheets will try to regain his stroke after batting .204 with 34 strikeouts in 134 plate appearances. He was only 1-for-14 (.071) against left-handers.

“This is the worst place to try to [break out of a slump] — even if you’re a pitcher working on something,” said La Russa, who noticed Sheets was pressing at the plate. “Big-league pitchers, big-league hitters — no mercy.”

The Sox hope Sheets can rekindle the stroke that saw him hit 11 home runs and drive in 34 runs in 54 games in 2021, his rookie season.

Lambert, 27, has spent parts of three seasons with the Sox, including an 0-2 record with a 5.14 ERA in three games in 2022. He was 0-3 with a 9.24 ERA in five starts at Charlotte.

Double duty

Assistant general manager Chris Getz has been scouting amateur players for the draft next month in addition to his primary duty of overseeing the minor leagues.

Getz said he stays in frequent contact with amateur scouting director Mike Shirley on ways to plug holes in the farm system.

“I always enjoy going out and seeing players and talking to our area scouts and Mike and anyone else who is part of that staff,” Getz said. “I try to get a stronger understanding of how each of these players fits in a particular draft and also get background information if we’re able to draft and sign them on how they fit into our organization and how to handle them from a developmental standpoint.”

The Sox have the 26th overall pick in the draft.

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