Palka was named the International League Player of the Week for the period of May 13-20, Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. He went 9-for-20 with three home runs in six games for Triple-A Charlotte. Palka is destroying International League pitching during the month of May, slashing .364/.493/.818 with eight homers and 16 RBI over 15 games. He bears no resemblance to the man who went 1-for-35 with 15 strikeouts in Chicago before being demoted.
Palka was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte on Wednesday, Scot Gregor of the Chicago Daily Herald reports. Palka struggled to begin the year, going 0-for-32 with 15 strikeouts in his first 12 games. With Palka heading to Triple-A, Leury Garcia will probably shift to right field with Adam Engel becoming the primary starter in center field. The White Sox will make a corresponding move Thursday, likely calling up Nicky Delmonico or Ryan Cordell.
Palka is out of the lineup for Wednesday's game against the Royals. Palka went 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts in Tuesday's 5-1 win, leaving him hitless through 39 plate appearances so far this season. Though Palka has a minor-league option remaining, the White Sox haven't publicly indicated that the struggling outfielder is at risk of a demotion to Triple-A Charlotte. He's thus expected to keep filling a large-side platoon role for the White Sox, though he'll find himself out of the lineup in the series finale even with a right-hander (Brad Keller) on the bump for Kansas City.
Palka sits for the second straight game Saturday against southpaw CC Sabathia and the Yankees. Palka has started against every righty while sitting against every lefty this season. He's gone 0-for-25 at the plate with 12 strikeouts, so it would be surprising to see his role expand any time soon. Leury Garcia slides to right field in his absence, with Adam Engel starting in center.
Palka is not in the lineup for Friday's game against the Yankees. Left-hander J.A. Happ is set to take the mound for New York, sending Palka to the bench in favor of Adam Engel and Leury Garcia in center and right field, respectively. Palka has provided little reason to be inserted into the lineup considering he is hitless through 29 plate appearances to begin the season.