Central Concerns: Adam Engel isn’t injured, joins crowded IL regardless

After losing one of their primary backup corner outfielders when Leury García severed a thumb ligament diving into first, the White Sox now temporarily without their other.

The White Sox placed Adam Engel on the unspecified injured list this afternoon, calling up Luis González to take his place on the 28-man roster. Engel is not officially on the COVID-19 list, but the White Sox are exercising caution because Engel “might have come in contact with someone who was infected.” By placing him on the list, the team was able to add González to the 40-man roster without releasing a player.

Engel was hitting .263/.317/.500 with two homers and three doubles over 41 plate appearances in a more flattering part-time role. It’s so flattering in fact that he looks more credible in all regards than the primary right fielder. Alas, the White Sox are going to have to trust that Nomar Mazara is more than the .179 hitter he’s shown so far.

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Yasmani Grandal blames some of his slow start on the fact that MLB hitters aren’t allowed to consult the video room between plate appearances.

“There’s a lot of guys who rely on (video),” he said. “You make adjustments through a game, whether it’s hitting or pitching. You see what you did, you go back into the video, and you start looking at it. On offense and defense, where you set up in the right spot. Do we hit our spots? We rely on video a lot, especially if you’re going to change a game plan mid-game, you rely on video for the feedback you need. The fact we don’t have that, it’s tough.”

He’s not the only one saying so, as J.D. Martinez and Luke Voit are others dealing with uncharacteristic struggles. It’s a point that’s good for Grandal to introduce, but it’s not one to dwell on, because everybody is in the same boat.

The Tigers are losers of five in a row heading into their four-game series with the White Sox starting tonight, but they’re gaining three of their top six prospects — pitchers Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal, and third baseman Isaac Paredes.

Had this been an traditional 162-game season, Mize might’ve been joining the Tigers right about now regardless. The first overall pick of the 2018 draft put together 21 strong starts between High-A Lakeland and Double-A Erie in 2019. Skubal, a ninth-round selection in the 2018 draft, also pitched at both levels in 2019, and he outpitched Mize, racking up 179 strikeouts over 122⅔ innings.

This could change the complexion of the series quite a bit, although my first look at Mize in New Hampshire last year wasn’t all that remarkable.

Zach Plesac’s Instagram rant against the media was stupid for a few reasons, but most notably because his teammates were more upset about it than anybody outside the organization. They’re the ones who didn’t want him or Mike Clevinger joining the team for the series in Detroit last week. As a result, both players might lose substantial days of service time.

If Clevinger remains on option for 20 days, the maximum number of rostered days he can get is 47 — which, under the formula, would equal 130 days of service. That would leave him with 3 years, 171 days — one day short of reaching four years of service.

By keeping Clevinger down, Cleveland could delay his free agency by a year.

The potential repercussions for Plesac are sizable too. He began the year on option for two days, meaning Cleveland needs to keep him down for 18 more days this season to affect his service. With a full year of service, he would be on track to be a Super 2 — arbitration eligible four times instead of the standard three — after the 2021 season. If he finishes 2020 with 130 days of service, Plesac would not reach arbitration until after 2022.

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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I wonder how much that party will end up costing to Clevinger and Plesac. As optioned players, are they making ML salary? I believe they aren’t. So that’s thousands of dollars for a party, and if they lose a service time year, that party might have cost them millions. Must have been a heck of a party.


I was really looking forward to seeing Engel in tonight’s lineup since Boyd LHP is on the hill and perhaps again tomorrow with Skubal throwing. Guess not…


Hope Engel just turns out to be a false alarm.