White Sox's Daniel Palka: May work in left field
Palka could end up seeing most of his playing time in left field in 2019 after general manager Rick Hahn said Saturday that he expects Jose Abreu and Yonder Alonso to fill most of the starts at designated hitter and first base, Phil Rogers of MLB.com reports.
Heading into the winter, there was some thought that Abreu and Palka would split first base and DH duties during the upcoming campaign, but the recent acquisition of Alonso temporarily spells an end to that plan. Like Palka, Alonso also bats from the left side, so even a timeshare between the two wouldn't be an ideal arrangement when both are healthy. As a result, Palka's clearest path to playing time looks like it'll come as a strong-side platoon bat in the corner outfield, barring other major offseason additions at the position. Palka graded out as a negative defender in both right and left last season, so deploying the 27-year-old slugger in the outfield doesn't seem like a tenable long-term plan. Fortunately for Palka, both Abreu and Alonso can both become free agents after 2019, so there's a good possibility that one or both players will be dealt ahead of the trade deadline if the White Sox aren't in playoff contention.
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