CINCINNATI — The injury bug continues to bite players in the White Sox’ farm system. And it’s stinging them where it hurts most — at the top of the prospect list.
The Sox said Monday that outfielder Eloy Jimenez, the No. 3-ranked prospect in baseball by MLB Pipeline, strained his left adductor muscle in Class AAA Charlotte’s game Sunday. He is expected back in two weeks.
Jimenez, who has generated considerable anticipation among Sox fans suffering through a rebuilding season and seemed to be fairly close to being called up to the majors, left the game after a flyout. He appeared to show some discomfort while running to first.
Jimenez, 21, is hitting .293/.383/.463 in 19 games at Charlotte. He hit .317/.368/.556 with 42 RBI in 53 games at Class AA Birmingham before being promoted.
The news for Luis Robert, another prized outfield prospect, was even worse. The 20-year-old Robert, whom the Sox signed out of Cuba for $26 million last year, has a sprained ligament in his left thumb and will be out four to eight weeks. The thumb is in a removable splint.
It’s the same thumb Robert sprained while sliding feet-first into second base in spring training. This time, Robert hurt the thumb when he jammed it against the outfield wall while playing for Class A Winston-Salem.
Last week, Birmingham right-hander Dane Dunning left a game and went on the disabled list with a moderate elbow sprain. He might be out for the season.
Third baseman Jake Burger, the Sox’ first-round draft pick in 2017, ruptured his left Achilles tendon in spring training. He tore the Achilles again at his home about five weeks later.
Right-hander Zack Burdi (Tommy John surgery), a first-round pick in 2016, and outfielder Ryan Cordell (broken clavicle) are also sidelined.
Outfielder Micker Adolfo (sprained ulnar collateral ligament in right elbow) and right-hander Alec Hansen (forearm soreness) missed time during and after spring training. Hansen since has returned to action.
The Sox announced five international signings: Cuban first baseman/designated hitter Alberto Bernal, Cuban infielders Harold Diaz and Bryan Ramos, Venezuelan catcher Luis Pineda and Venezuelan shortstop Anthony Espinoza. Diaz will spend the 2018 season in the Dominican Summer League. The others are signed for 2019.
Birmingham outfielder Joel Booker was named the Sox’ minor-league player of the month and Charlotte right-hander
Donny Roach was named their minor-league pitcher of the month for June.
Roach, 28, also was named International League pitcher of the month after going 5-0 with a 0.98 ERA. He is 9-2 with a 2.65 ERA this season.
Booker, 25, batted .348 with 12 doubles and two home runs in 22 games between Winston-Salem and Birmingham in June. He was named the most valuable player of the Carolina League all-star game after going 3-for-4 with a homer and four RBI and was promoted to Birmingham on June 21.