Adam Engel’s return to injured list an ominous start to White Sox’s week

Jun 6, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago White Sox center fielder Adam Engel (15) makes a catch on a fly ball hit by Detroit Tigers left fielder Akil Baddoo (not pictured) during the first inning gat Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Last year, when the pandemic threatened an entire season and Major League Baseball and the Players Association were exchanging more barbs than offers, The Athletic’s Mark Carig poked fun at the discourse that framed every week as “a big week for baseball,” and gave his new column the same name.

For the team with which we are concerned, this year offers a similar vibe. Last week was A Big Week for the White Sox because they got to see how they measured up against the best teams in the American League. Going 2-5 against the Rays and Astros answered that question to the negative to some degree, although it also caught them at the end of a stretch of 17 games in 18 days.

SOX MACHINE PODCAST: Bad Weekend in Houston

The White Sox will have neither fatigue nor quality of opponent working against them for the next two series. Off days surround this pair of games in Pittsburgh that starts today, after which they return home to host Seattle at Guaranteed Rate Field, which will be able to host at 100 percent capacity for the first time since 2019. With Cleveland narrowing the gap to two games with a win over the Cubs on Monday, the scenario creates a new Big Week for the White Sox, even though there isn’t a postseason preview to be found.

That said, an off day on Monday failed to spare the White Sox another injury. Adam Engel returns to the injured list with another episode of a strained right hamstring, with Luis González coming up from Charlotte to take his place.

The conservative way the White Sox deployed Engel suggested that he wasn’t out of the woods. He hit .241/.313/.552 with three homers in 10 games, so he should’ve played just about every day based on performance alone. Alas, Engel started consecutive games just once over his two weeks on the roster based on the training staff’s recommendation, and now we know why.

Engel ‘s injury makes it five White Sox outfielders on the shelf at one time. He’s also burdened by the fourth active hamstring injury, joining Adam Eaton, Nick Madrigal and Michael Kopech in that department. It doesn’t help that Leury García played in only one of the four games in Houston due to a sore knee, which is why González is back on the roster despite hitting just .195/.302/.341. That line includes a boost from Truist Field, which is the scary part.

This is all why I put outfield ahead of second base on the White Sox’s list of midsummer needs when discussing the Eduardo Escobar trade rumor. It’s also why the White Sox can’t look at the spate of injuries elsewhere in the division and get cocky. That’s only good for cold comfort.

(Photo by David Banks / USA TODAY Sports)

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soxygen

What did we do to deserve this?

CaptainEuphemism

I’m no expert on karma, but perhaps being White Sox fans is how the universe makes up for us all being so amazing in every other aspect of our lives.

roke1960

Everybody has plenty of injuries. The Mets has 19 guys on the IL at one time. Buxton came back for 3 games and is now out another month. I could go on and on. The answer to that is not just bringing up another guy that can play center field. Leury and Goodwin can cover that. We need offense!!

mikeyb

When the Bulls fired their whole training staff a few years back, did Jerry just bring them over to the Sox?

Infield Grass

Watching how hard he was running when he scored from first had me worried about this. The guy is freak athlete, but that also means there are huge stresses on his body.

King Joffrey

Seems like every player with speed is either out or diminished. Doesn’t help that Yermin is parroting The Parrot.

dwjm3

Heck of an at bat by Frazier

roke1960

Adam Frazier should have been in a White Sox uniform by now.

dwjm3

I guess Jim gave up on the team as there is no game thread

????

dwjm3

This is pathetic…so easy to mow is down right now

roke1960

This offense is just pathetic. But Hahn’s solution is…Luis Gonzalez.

dwjm3

The offense is truly hard to watch

Just John

#GiolitoForDH

roke1960

I know there’s time and you don’t want to rush into trades, but giving away games right now could come back to haunt them. At least try some of the minor leaguers who are hitting if you’re not going to make a trade right now. Luis Gonzalez has no purpose on this team. He does the same thing as Brian Goodwin. He probably won’t even play. That’s just stupid.

Just John

But we can’t start the clock on Burger!!!

CaptainEuphemism
roke1960

Mendick now under .210 with a SLG lower than Adam Frazier’s batting average. But he will continue to play every day.

Shingos Cheeseburgers

The team they have on the field right now is one that would be projected to win 70-75 games over a whole season. Gonna have to get used to some clunkers for a while.

roke1960

But they don’t have to continue to put this disaster of a lineup out there. Hahn needs to do something!!

soxygen

I’m going to go ahead and mark you down in the “feeling some urgency” column.

Just John

Does there ever come a point at which there are too many things wrong to fix?

How far does Eddie Escobar even move the needle?

soxygen

Yeah, I don’t remember the last time a team without a lot of farm depth or willingness to take on money successfully upgraded 2B, DH, LF, CF, and RF with mid season trades.