The White Sox placed outfielder Adam Eaton the 10-day injured list today due to a strained right hamstring. The placement is retroactive to June 15. Right-hander Zack Burdi was promoted from Triple-A to take Eaton’s spot on the active roster.
With Eaton sidelined, this means that Chicago’s entire projected Opening Day outfield is now on the injured list. While Eaton’s hamstring problem doesn’t seem nearly as serious as the injuries that have sidelined Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert for the bulk of the season, it does underline how the Sox have managed to adapt and thrive despite these significant setbacks. In particular, hamstring and leg injuries have struck several White Sox players this season, with GM Rick Hahn recently discussing about how the team has been trying to figure out if there is any sort of root cause behind this unusual recurring issue.
Originally a member of the White Sox from 2014-16, Eaton returned to the Windy City this offseason after signing a one-year free agent deal worth $8MM in guaranteed money (including the $1MM buyout of an $8.5MM club option the Sox hold on Eaton for 2022). The results haven’t been good at the plate, as Eaton is hitting .195/.296/.345 over 203 plate appearances and his 25.1% strikeout rate is the highest of his career.
With Eaton gone, the Sox have Andrew Vaughn, Adam Engel, and Brian Goodwin as their starting outfield, with Jake Lamb and Leury Garcia able to fill in as part-timers. Outfield already seemed like a target area for the White Sox at the trade deadline given the uncertainty over Jimenez and Robert, and if Eaton ends up having to miss more time beyond the 10-day minimum, the club could be inspired to make a move sooner rather than later to shore up depth.