Lucy Catches A Break

CHICAGO—Donny Lucy got a taste of big league baseball in 2007 but must have wondered if he would make it back. He did in an unexpected way, getting the call to open 2010 in Chicago when veteran Ramon Castro was placed on the disabled list.

Lucy, 27, was a second-round pick in 2004 out of Stanford. He has always been respected as a receiver but hasn't hit enough to be considered among the organization's top prospects. Tyler Flowers, acquired from the Braves in the Javier Vazquez trade two years ago, is considered the heir apparent to A.J. Pierzynski, but Lucy's knowledge of the pitching staff made him the guy to get this call.

"So many players go through the minors, with opportunities being tough to come by sometimes, even for guys who put up huge numbers," Lucy said. "This is awesome. I know what a blessing it is."

Lucy is a career .251/.321/.340 hitter in the minors but had battled to get his career back on track after dislocating his right kneecap on May 1, 2008. He played just 12 games that season and hit .216/.256/.285 in 222 at-bats between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte last season. He was one of four non-roster catchers invited to spring training and didn't appear overmatched.

"It's a great story," pitching coach Don Cooper said. "I'm really happy for him, and he does a great job behind the plate. Donny will get some major league experience, and we will give him the same information we would give to anyone else with that role."

Lucy got the call in part because the White Sox didn't want to disrupt the development of Flowers, who was sent to Triple-A after a disappointing spring. Pierzynski is in the last year of his contract and hopes for a contract extension. The Sox have been non-committal but could address the issue if Flowers does not look ready to take over.


• Lefty Charlie Leesman, an 11th-rounder in 2008 from Xavier, hadn't pitched above low Class A but made a strong impression, allowing two earned runs in 6 1/3 innings over five spring outings. He opened with high Class A Winston-Salem.

• Shortstop Juan Silverio, 18, and catcher Miguel Gonzalez, 19, were the only teenagers placed on full-season rosters, both at low Class A Kannapolis. Outfielder Trayce Thompson and lefty David Holmberg, both high picks in 2009, were assigned to extended spring training.