In MLB breaking news, the White Sox announced that they have place center fielder Adam Engel on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to June 20th. Engel, who had already missed the first two months of the season, returned to the IL with the same hamstring injury. In the 10 games, he has been able to play this season, Engel has a slash line of .241/.313/.552. He had three home runs and four RBIs. Most impressively, he posted an OPS of .864 and an OPS+ of 136.
MLB Breaking News: Sox Outfield Up For Grabs
In normal times, an injury to Adam Engel, in and of itself, would not generally be cause for alarm. While he is an excellent fourth outfielder, he has not been an everyday starter. Usually, a team can find a way to replace a backup outfielder; so what’s the big deal?
The big deal is that Engel is just one of several outfielders on the IL for the Sox at this time. In fact, for those who may have missed it, or who have been living on a remote island since late March, here is a recap on the White Sox outfield injuries.
Silver Slugger winner Eloy Jimenez was hurt in spring training and has yet to play a game in 2021. Gold Glove center fielder Luis Robert was injured on May 2nd, and his return in 2021 is questionable. Right fielder Adam Eaton, who had been playing hurt, was placed on the IL last week, with no return date set. Defensive specialist Billy Hamilton went to the IL on June 6th, with no return date set.
So, the White Sox outfield depth chart has been totally blown up. The other day, the starting outfield was rookie Andrew Vaughn in left, journeyman Brian Goodwin in center, and journeyman Jake Lamb in right. That is not the type of lineup that is likely to scare too many opposing teams. The Sox outfield has also featured infielders Leury Garcia and Danny Mendick at times. Again, that is a far cry from the projected Opening Day lineup of Jimenez, Robert, and Eaton.
What Does The Future Hold?
All of these injuries have no doubt hurt the White Sox significantly. While there have been many injuries in MLB this season, no team has lost its top five outfielders at the same time. The question is: What do the Sox and GM Rick Hahn do? After all, the Sox are still in first place, even with the injuries. It is also possible that all five outfielders will return at some time this season. That remains to be seen.
Still, anxious Sox fans are waiting and hoping to see a headline like this: MLB Breaking News: “White Sox acquire outfielder for the stretch run.” Or maybe this: MLB Breaking News: “Jimenez and Robert ready to go for playoffs.” If they were to come back anywhere near their potential, that would be huge for the Sox. In fact, anything close to that might reassure wavering Sox fans that all is not lost.
In any event, the future seems to be in Hahn’s hands. He has done a masterful job to this point of building a roster that can potentially make a deep run into October. Yet, the work is far from done. While the Sox are built for the long run, fans see a chance at a World Series this year. For many fans, the future is now. Next season is promised to no one. The time is NOW. Sox fans are dreaming of reading this headline sometime this fall: MLB Breaking News: Chicago White Sox win the World Series.” We shall see what happens.
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