The White Sox already lost injured right-handers Ryan Burr, Jimmy Lambert and Zack Burdi for the season earlier Friday. Add fellow righty Ian Hamilton to the list, according to James Fegan of The Athletic. Hamilton will require multiple surgeries to repair multiple fractures he suffered to his jaw on a line drive earlier this season, Fegan reports.
Now 24, Hamilton joined the White Sox as an 11th-round pick in 2016. He reached the majors for the first time last season, throwing eight innings of four-earned run ball, but pitched solely at the minors’ highest level this year before suffering his injury. Hamilton made 16 appearances with Triple-A Charlotte and allowed more than an earned run per inning (18 in 16 1/3 frames), but he did register 11.02 K/9 against 1.65 BB/9 and post a 51.9 percent groundball rate.
Although Hamilton has struggled to prevent runs this year, he entered 2019 as a well-regarded prospect. MLB.com (No. 13) and FanGraphs (No. 30) currently place him among Chicago’s top 30 farmhands. Hamilton could eventually turn into a major league closer, per MLB.com, but that quest is now on hold. He followed Lambert and Burdi as the third top 30 White Sox prospect to be ruled out for the season Friday.
In better news for the White Sox, one of their premier righty prospects, Dylan Cease, is moving closer to his first big league promotion. The prized 23-year-old is “getting awful close” to joining the White Sox, general manager Rick Hahn said Friday (via Scott Merkin of MLB.com). Hahn noted two-plus weeks ago Cease was working toward a call-up, and it seems he has continued to build a case since then. Cease has put up a 4.62 ERA/3.79 FIP with 9.51 K/9, 4.06 BB/9 and a 54.9 percent grounder rate in 64 1/3 innings during his first Triple-A experience this year.