Adam Eaton succumbs to injured list; White Sox recall Zack Burdi

Apr 24, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago White Sox right fielder Adam Eaton (12) is nearly hit by a pitch thrown by Texas Rangers starting pitcher Kyle Gibson (44) in thethird t inning at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Even without knowing anything about what he was capable of providing the 2021 White Sox, Adam Eaton‘s spotty health history made a trip to the injured list more a matter of “when” than “if.”

The visuals over the last month or so haven’t been any more encouraging, and everybody involved finally copped to what everybody else had been seeing.

The White Sox placed Eaton on the 10-day injured list this afternoon with a strained right hamstring, retroactive to Tuesday. They called up Zack Burdi to take his roster spot, if not his place (although you never know, given the team’s precarious outfield depth).

Eaton’s hitting .195/.296/.345 on the season, but it’s even uglier when realizing he front-loaded that line. Over his last 34 games, it’s .147/.264/.263. In June, it’s .161/.235/.226. His 2021 is a matryoshka doll of production, and we’re down to smaller and smaller groundouts to second base at this point. His spray chart for the month:

The state of his legs was my primary issue with signing him in the first place, and it’s been an acute concern for Tony La Russa since the first week of May. Eaton came through with moments here and there to make him feel more rosterable than, say, Luis González, but he hasn’t been an asset to a lineup since April. With Brian Goodwin arriving and looking capable of useful at-bats from the same side of the plate, the White Sox finally amassed enough redundancy to see if rest can cure Eaton’s woes.

With Eaton on the injured list, and preceded by Eloy Jiménez’s ruptured pectoral tendon and Luis Robert’s torn hip flexor, the White Sox’s entire Plan A outfield is on the shelf at the same time, along with Billy Hamilton. That makes La Russa’s conservative deployment of Adam Engel quite understandable, especially since Engel suffered a more serious hamstring strain with an accompanying setback.

PERTINENT: White Sox rule out Nick Madrigal for 2021, but Eloy Jiménez is in play

Burdi doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for a team that had to set up a recurring Google Calendar reminder to make sure Matt Foster is fed, but there isn’t anybody in Charlotte who is demanding consideration with his performance, at least among those already on the 40-man roster.

I suppose it’s a little surprising that the White Sox didn’t use the occasion to end Jace Fry‘s rehab stint since he’s made nine appearances with Charlotte. He is getting further away from MLB-quality performances, what with four walks on top of five hits over his last 4⅔ innings. Sometimes that kind of stagnation can be chalked up to boredom, but considering Fry has walked a fine line with the strike zone in previous seasons, he’s not somebody who can take a roster spot for granted, especially if he’s not all the way recovered from his microdisectomy.

Besides, recalling Fry at this point would create the same issue as promoting somebody with better recent numbers like Nik Turley. Because Fry is on the 60-day injured list, somebody from the 40-man would have to be removed before Fry could return. There’s certainly roster fat for trimming, but Fry might not have a use case in his current form that demands it.

(Photo by Matt Marton / USA TODAY Sports)

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Imagine telling someone at the beginning of Spring Training that the White Sox Outfield would consist of Andrew Vaughn, Billy Hamilton and Brian Goodwin and they would be 1st place in MLB.

They would have thought you were a raving lunatic.


And with that in mind, is there any word when Hamilton is coming back?

Root Cause

As of yesterday, he still isn’t capable of full batting practice. A rehab assignment will be assigned before he could be brought back.


If we loose a SP, who is next in line to take their place?

As Cirensica

Stiever….probably. Kopech if he is healthy


or maybe Wright

Just John

Not Jimmy Lambert? He hasn’t allowed an earned run since May.


yeah, i think they’d go with Lambert.

Right Size Wrong Shape

They’ve been stretching out McRae and he’s done pretty well. It would probably just be whoever’s turn it is in the rotation.


Not sure where Lambert is at. He just worked his way up to 5 inn. Most of his starts have been around 3 innings.


OK, to be blunt: What is it with the White Sox and their hamstrings?

Infield Grass

I guess it gives them another arm to eat innings if one of these games turns into a home run derby for Houston over these four games. I’m not an Eaton hater as most are as I see his value as a complete player when healthy in the playoffs so shut him down for a few weeks so you can get a look at a hopefully healthier Eaton before the trade deadline as well as know exactly where you stand on Engel, Goodwin, and Danny in larger roles. Hold off as close to the trade deadline as possible with soft schedule to the ASG because one serious pitching injury and that will suddenly become the #1 need.

Root Cause

Bring on Cespedes and let him hit a few homers to continue the trend of unknowns carry the offense for a couple of weeks.


Sounds like a bit of news, they hope his visa issues will be resolved by month end and he can play at Birmingham after. Good news, but about friggin time. Hopefully we’ll see what he can do soon enough.

As Cirensica

His 2021 is a matryoshka doll of production,

LOL… that really made me laugh.

I think Eaton has been in the IL before he was in the IL, and his latest “production” might have been an attempt to disguise an injury.


Any word on how Gavin Sheets looks patrolling right field for Charlotte?

His BRef page shows him successfully fielding every chance his way, but slow guys can miss playable balls just by not getting there. Did he wake up at age-25 and finally find his true calling?


Everyone knew Eaton was going to be bad the moment he was signed. Time to call Seattle and see what it would take to get Mitch Haniger.


Who I thought just got injured.

Bruised knee, he’s not expected to miss much time.


I’m glad we will finally see what Engel can do agaisnt RHPs. I wish Eaton the best, but everyone knew what they were getting when they signed him. Which is why most fans were rightfully disappointed and ticked off when they did. I hope we’ve seen the last of him in the lineup on a regular basis, personally. If Engel plays well and stays healthy, that should hopefully be the case. Eaton was never really one of their top 3 outfielders to begin with.