GLENDALE, Ariz. — Center fielder Charlie Tilson, who hasn’t played this spring because of a stress reaction in his right foot, is dealing with discomfort and will be re-evaluated Monday, the White Sox said.
Tilson was wearing a walking boot Sunday morning. A stress reaction can be a precursor to a stress fracture. In the stress-reaction stage, the bone structure is breaking down and becoming weaker.
Tilson tore his left hamstring in his major-league debut last season and had season-ending surgery. The Sox were hoping to give him a chance to be the starting center fielder, but he was shelved early in camp with the foot issue.
He had been slowly working his way back, doing some hitting and some limited jogging last week.
“It’s a difficult moment for him because he has been working so hard after the injury that he suffered with the hamstring,’’ manager Rick Renteria said. “But there are only certain things he can control.’’
Tilson, a New Trier High School grad, was acquired from the Cardinals in a trade-deadline deal last summer for left-hander Zach Duke. He’s ranked 12th on the Sox’ prospect list, according to MLBpipeline.com.
Peter Bourjos and rookies Jacob May and Adam Engel are possibilities to be the Opening Day starter, Renteria said. Infielder Leury Garcia also plays center.
Narvaez a fast learner
Geovany Soto was signed to not only share playing time with Omar Narvaez but to take him under his wing. Narvaez says he’s grateful.
“Every day we learn something,’’ Narvaez said.
“I’m learning my pitchers, how to call the game, and having Soto here has helped me a lot. With everything — mechanics, even during the game if I did something wrong, he’ll come at me in a good way. He’s been helpful.’’
Narvaez’s accelerated climb to the majors after the Sox claimed him in the minor-league portion of the Rule 5 draft in 2013 surprised even him.
“I never thought I would get to the big leagues last year,’’ Narvaez said. “I was going to take it step by step, goal by goal.’’
Rated by Baseball America as the best defensive catcher in the Sox’ system, the left-handed-hitting Narvaez played Class A ball at Winston-Salem as recently as 2015. He opened the 2016 season at Class AA Birmingham and was promoted to Charlotte after only 13 games, mainly because of injuries higher up in the Sox’ chain. After 41 games at Charlotte, the Sox called him up on July 6, when Alex Avila went on the disabled list.
Narvaez is 5-for-13 (.385) in Cactus League play. Settling in and feeling like he belonged last season boosted his confidence.
“A lot,’’ Narvaez said. “It’s a mindset. Even being a rookie, I felt like this is for me.’’
Follow me on Twitter @CST_soxvan.