Sosa makes jump from Class AA Birmingham, debuts in Sox's 4-0 loss to Orioles
Not many players jump from Class AA to the major leagues.
Lenyn (Len-EEN) Sosa did because the White Sox believe he's a rare talent.
"You are going to see a lot of him," Sox manager Tony La Russa said. "He stands at the plate and he's got a real nice style that shows you he's ready. They've been raving about him since the first week of the season.
"He's playing well defensively at three positions but his at-bats, he's a good looking hitter."
With infielder Danny Mendick facing season-ending knee surgery, the White Sox selected Sosa's contract from AA Birmingham before Thursday night's game against the Orioles at Guaranteed Rate Field.
The 22-year-old prospect wasn't in the starting lineup, but Sosa did get into the game in the sixth inning, replacing second baseman Josh Harrison. In the fifth, Harrison was hit by a pitch and he's day to day with a right triceps contusion.
Baltimore beat the Sox 4-0.
"This is a big opportunity," Sosa through a translator. "I'm just blessed for this opportunity. I think all the hard work that I've put in day in and day out since I started playing baseball has now come to fruition."
In his major-league debut, Sosa struck out swinging and walked.
"I thought his second at-bat was one of the highlights of the night," La Russa said. "We were competing, very impressive."
Based on his performance with Birmingham, more productive days are ahead.
In 62 games, Sosa hit .331/.384/.549 with 10 doubles, 2 triples, 14 home runs and 48 RBI. He was leading the Southern League in batting average, hits (85), RBI and runs scored (47).
As for Sosa's role, the White Sox will figure it out.
"For right now, he's going to help wherever he can," La Russa said. "But when you're putting together the year he has, you've got to believe he's going to be an everyday player. He's been every day down there and he's tearing the cover off the ball."
The Sox were limited to 8 hits and held scoreless by Orioles starter and Dean Kremer and three relievers.
"We hit a lot of balls hard and couldn't break through," La Russa said.
Johnny Cueto started for the White Sox and gave up 3 runs on 7 hits and 1 walk in 5⅓ innings.
With Adam Engel going on the 10-day injured list with a right hamstring injury, the White Sox recalled Gavin Sheets from Class AAA Charlotte. Sheets started in right field Thursday night and was 1-for-3 with a walk.
Before being demoted on June 10, the left-hander hit .204 with 4 home runs and 10 RBI in 44 games with the Sox.
In 9 games with Charlotte, Sheets hit .270 with 2 homers and 7 RBI.
"I talked to (Charlotte hitting coach) Chris (Johnson) and a lot of the work that he was doing with (Sox hitting coach) Frankie (Menechino), it rolled into it," White Sox manager Tony La Russa said. "He's done quality work down there with Chris and I'm looking forward to seeing him."