Injury Bug Bites Top White Sox Prospects
Many top prospects in the White Sox system received bad news on the injury front this spring.
Third baseman Jake Burger, the first-rounder out of Missouri State last year, is out for the season with a ruptured left Achilles tendon.
Burger was injured running to first base during a Feb. 26 Cactus League game against the Athletics.
"It felt like a gunshot," said Burger, 22. "I knew immediately something was wrong. There’s nothing really to say. It sucks, and I just have to stay positive.”
Outfielder Luis Robert was another spring casualty. He's expected to be sidelined until late May or early June with a sprained ligament in his left thumb.
Robert was injured sliding into second base during a March 7 exhibition game against the Reds. The 20-year-old Cuban actually stayed in the game after his injury and hit a grand slam.
Before being optioned to Double-A Birmingham, No. 1 prospect outfielder Eloy Jimenez missed 15 Cactus League games with a sore left knee.
Jimenez returned to the lineup on March 10 and hit a two-run homer against the Cubs, the team that traded him to the White Sox last July for Jose Quintana.
Outfielder Micker Adolfo has a sprained ligament in his right elbow. He avoided surgery—for now—and will be limited to a DH role at high Class A Winston-Salem to start the season.
Righthander Alec Hansen was limited during spring training after being diagnosed with a sore right forearm.
The White Sox aren't happy with all of the ailments, naturally, but general manager Rick Hahn understands it's a part of the process.
"I think there are inevitably going to surprises," Hahn said. "Unfortunately, you sort of prepare for the bad ones because you know there are going to be injuries along the way. You just have to brace yourself with enough depth."
Number Of Minor League Pitchers Throwing 100 MPH Decreases In 2018
In conversations with scouts and front office officials during the season many of them mentioned seeing less pitchers with top-of-the-scale fastballs than they had seen in other recent seasons.
>> After running up an 11.57 ERA in four Cactus League outings (three starts), righthander Michael Kopech was optioned to minor league camp and likely will open the season back at Triple-A Charlotte. He allowed seven runs (four earned) in one-third of an inning in his final spring appearance.
>> Ryan Cordell was optioned to Charlotte after a strong showing. The center fielder, who was acquired from the Brewers in the Anthony Swarzak trade last July, batted .317 (13-for-41) in the Cactus League.