Adam Engel will begin the season the injured list, as White Sox manager Tony La Russa told reporters (including Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times) that Engel will miss “at least a couple of weeks” due to a right hamstring strain. Long known for his glovework moreso than his bat, Engel hit .295/.333/.477 over 93 plate appearances in 2020, and was projected to serve as Chicago’s fourth outfielder this year, also getting his share of right field platoon duty with the left-handed hitting Adam Eaton. [UPDATE: Engel told The Athletic’s James Fegan and other reporters that his injury carries a normal recovery timeline of 2-4 weeks, though that projection will depend on how his body responds to treatment.]
Utilityman Leury Garcia could fill Engel’s role, and La Russa also mentioned three other candidates in camp — prospect Luis Gonzalez, and non-roster invitees Billy Hamilton and Nick Williams. Mikie Mahtook is another center field-capable player with MLB experience in camp. If Engel does make good progress before Opening Day, it’s possible his IL stint could be fairly minimal, so the Sox might just use Garcia or Gonzalez as short-term replacements rather than make a 40-man roster move to accommodate one of the players on minor league deals.
More injury situations from around baseball….
- With Sonny Gray already slated to begin the season on the IL, two more pitching concerns arose for the Reds on Saturday. Michael Lorenzen suffered a minor shoulder strain while pitching in an intrasquad game, and Tejay Antone ended a side session due to hip flexor irritation. GM Nick Krall told reporters (including Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer) that “we got as good of news as possible” on the two right-handers, saying “I think we’re hopeful that both will start the season on time, but we’re still monitoring the situation.” Lorenzen was taken out as something of a precaution, while Antone may perhaps be taken along a bit slower, considering that he was already trying to recover from a slight groin strain. Since the Reds have two off-days in the first eight days of the schedule, they could get by with just a starting four of Luis Castillo, Wade Miley, Tyler Mahle, and Jose De Leon should Lorenzen to miss time. If Antone is healthy and isn’t instead ticketed for the bullpen, he could also pitch as a starter rather than De Leon.
- Brewers pitching prospect Antoine Kelly underwent thoracic outlet syndrome surgery last November, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy writes, and it isn’t yet certain when the southpaw might be back on the mound. “I think it’s unlikely for him to be ready by the start of the Minor League season….I think we do envision him pitching over the summer. Exactly when, we don’t know,” Milwaukee president of baseball ops David Stearns said. Kelly was a second-round pick in the 2019 draft, and he made 10 starts (nine in rookie ball, one in A-ball) that year before working out at the Brewers’ alternate training site last summer. Baseball America ranks Kelly as the fourth-best prospect in Milwaukee’s system, citing his plus fastball and plus slider, and saying he “has the attributes to develop into a mid-rotation or better starter.”
Reds aren’t worried. Just swap in a third baseman. Bada bing, bada boom.
Haha this is great
I’m not gonna lie, this one legitimately made me laugh out loud.
I’ve watched most of the Pirates’ spring games, and believe they’re not going to be anywhere near as bad as predicted due to most players rebounding from a horrendous decline in last year’s effed up season – (Frazier, Reynolds, Polanco and Newman). They also seem to be going down the Rays’ route of piggy backing pitchers to avoid over working arms more than any other team in the Grapefruit League.
I can see the Reds’ defensive ‘experiments’ failing horribly while the Buccos win 70 games and avoid last place in the division.
Luc (Soto 3rd best in the game)
Anyone else high on Tejay Antone? He did pretty good in the 2020 season, and I saw his different types of pitches in ST and he struck out the side. I know ST stats don’t matter but he’s looking nice.
He throws some nasty pitches. Think he’s got all the tools to succeed, we’ll see if he can put it together over a full season.
yeah he seems pretty solid
Yep, Antone is looking like a stud. His velo is up again and his command of the strike zone is solid. Two of his pitches are top 10 in MLB.
I don’t think Engel will only be sidelined for a couple weeks. That looked really bad.
Yeah, it definitely looked ugly. But it might have looked far worse than it was. Different sport, but I’ve seen gruesome looking plays in the NFL where the player looked like he was going to have a season-ending injury and he came back later that game. So you never know.
But I agree, it did look bad. So he will get off easy if it’s only 2 weeks.
To me, Mahtook would be the obvious choice to replace Engel since he plays CF and bats from the right, but that’s because I despise Garcia in CF.
I tend to agree. He will offer above average defense and speed, and as much bat as Hamilton or Williams. There are much worse 4th/5th outfielders on ML teams
I would just call up Gonzalez.
He is already on the 40-man roster and can handle CF. That way you don’t have to deal with Garcia in CF. He can also be optioned once Engel is healthy.
You would need to clear a space for Mahtook, and then he would probably be cut as soon as Engel is healthy.
Engel’s injury is a major loss. If Mahtook is your idea of outfield depth, then you might as well forget about contending for the division title this year. Did you ever watch him play, swing mightily and miss by a mile? How about Adolfo or Rutherford instead? Maybe it’s time for Collins to shag flies during batting practice. I’d rather take a chance on Collins that endure the certainty of Mahtook’s ineptitude. It’s situations like these that tell you where your farm system ranks against your competitors.
If Hamilton or Williams are the answer, I’d rather not know the question.
Ducky Buckin Fent
That white sox outfield depth chart looks a little grim.
I think signing Eaton to some kind of legacy deal was not in their best competitive interest.
It’s March 22 & it’s already looking sketchy. Hamilton couldn’t make it onto Cleveland’s roster. That should really crystalize where his career stands, man.
Yet he may break camp with them?
Boy, that’s not what you want.
Disagree. Both with you and above.
Garcia and Williams can hold the fort until Engel gets back. As for Hamilton – he can still play D for a few innings, it’s his offense that got him cut from the Royals and Indians
I was listening to Royals GM Dayton Moore being interviewed yesterday. He’s been around enough to know reality. He noted that every MLB team has weaknesses.
If the Sox 4th and 5th OF’s are their biggest worry, then they’re fine. In fact, if you are concerned about the season I’d focus in on the depth of the starting pitching and bullpen – same as their main compactor, the Twins.
You know – it appears this spell checker changes words without the user requesting it. Has happened to me far too often. I see other posters having the same problem.
Also periods (“.”) that show in typing, often display as commas (“,”). I also see others run into that. Be careful.
Ducky Buckin Fent
You sure typed a lot.
Here the deal, @Samual. One of Dayton Moore’s basic tenants is: don’t suck anywhere.
LOL Ducky Buckin Fent;
Don’t think so.
Been following Dayton since he was with the Braves. Runs the best fundamental team in MLB. He’s small market with the Royals – playing in a big yard – so he’s always trying to stretch players. He needs ballhawks in that OF, so he brought in Hamilton and Brett Phillips. Had his coaches spend hundreds of hours with them on working counts, getting on base and hitting. Dayton finally gave up (when Roman Quinn is released by the Phillies I expect he’ll grab him – in parts of 4 MLB seasons the man has stolen 30 bases in 35 attempts; a Maury Wills if he can get on base).
The way MLB is played today bench guys are specialists. All the Sox need out of a 5th OF is to play decent defense part-time. At most he comes to bat once a game.
As for my typing – I expected a cheap shot. Why should MLBTR be any different then any other social media chatrooom?
I fully agree.
While I liked bringing in Hamilton and Williams, the team could of helped itself by adding another proven OF who could also DH.
Fact is, Eaton and Garcia are walking M.A.S.H. Units, and Robert and Jimenez are prove to minor injuries.
Engel getting hurt was the last thing the team needed, or even expected, but having another guy to provide depth would have helped immensely.
Yes, in rotisserie baseball it’s all about statistics – primarily hitting statistics. One teams players compared to another’s. But in playing MLB on the field, it’s about scoring more runs than the opposing team. So preventing runs is as important as scoring runs (something defensive statistics do not remotely reflect). And to do that takes more then pitchers K’ing guys, it takes defenses making plays for them.
Like the Twins the past few years, the Sox are loaded offensively. They hardly need yet another bat out of their 5th OF and 24th, 25th or 26th man (especially with Eloy Jimenez and an aging Adam Eaton in their OF when they’re trying to protect a lead in the late innings).
We both have our opinions. We’ll see which way the Sox go. One thing for sure – this discussion is moot and will be forgotten by early May. What we know is that the Twins woke up and brought in Andrelton Simmons because their infield defense was costing them games.
My take on the Engel situation:
If he’s not going to miss much time (maybe a week in the regular season), they’ll be fine (assuming no other OF injuries take place in the meantime). If this would turn into something where he (or another OF) would miss several weeks, then there’s cause for concern. Now if someone steps up in his absence, then problem solved. But we all know it’s not that easy.
BTW, I agree with maximumvelocity. I’d just bring up Gonzalez. He’s already on the 40-man, and we might as well see what he has. I like that option to the others mentioned. If it’s ultimately Hamilton, I can’t see him as being more than what Jarrod Dyson was last year.