Injury history repeating itself for White Sox’ prospects

SHARE Injury history repeating itself for White Sox’ prospects

Michael Kopech holds a baseball revealing the scar left from Tommy John surgery. (John Antonoff/For the Sun-Times)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The injury hits just keep on coming for the White Sox’ farm system.

Word on Tuesday that right-hander Dane Dunning is sidelined with forearm discomfort is only the latest in a run of injuries to top prospects. It’s the second already this February — outfielder Luis Basabe broke the hamate bone in his left wrist during the first week of spring training. Dunning and Basabe are in the top 10 on most Sox top-prospect lists.

Michael Kopech, the Sox’ top pitching prospect and second overall, is out for the season as he recovers from Tommy John surgery, and the fear exists that Dunning is facing a similar fate.

Dunning left a start for Class AA Birmingham on June 23 and missed the rest of the season with a sprained right elbow. He returned to the mound for the instructional league in October and entered his offseason expecting to be healthy for spring training but was not invited to major-league camp after getting an invite last spring.

“I was just kind of praying for the best,” Dunning told reporters in October. “I wasn’t thinking it was surgery, but I put myself in that mind frame that it might be a tear.’’

The Sox will have an update on Dunning this week. A no-news-is-not-good-news feeling is creeping in around camp, and manager Rick Renteria said Wednesday that he had “nothing I can share with you that would put more light on what is going on.”

Here are the other prospects who’ve had their development stalled:

u Third baseman Jake Burger (ruptured Achilles tendon), the Sox’ first-round pick in 2017.

u Right-hander Zack Burdi (Tommy John surgery), a first-round pick in 2016.

u Outfielder Luis Robert (sprained thumb).

u Outfielder Micker Adolfo (Tommy John surgery).

u Additionally, right-hander Alec Hansen, a second-round pick ranked among the Sox’ top prospects a year ago (40th in baseball by Baseball Prospectus) has fallen from the rankings since dealing with forearm and shoulder issues. Outfielder Eloy Jimenez (knee, chest muscle, adductor), the No. 3 prospect in baseball, was slowed by various ailments last season. And outfielder Ryan Cordell, ranked 17th among Sox prospects at the time, suffered a broken clavicle at Class AAA Charlotte last April.

Dunning was acquired with Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez in the trade for Adam Eaton, one of the big deals that kicked off the Sox’ rebuild.


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Palka still out

Daniel Palka remained sidelined with a tight left hamstring and could be a few days away from returning.

Abreu’s hitting coach

Jose Abreu has kept his personal hitting coach, Marcos Hernandez, nearby because “you can never know enough about how you can improve your game.”

Abreu said having Hernandez around “is very important to me.”

“It’s like in life, you never know enough about stuff,’’ Abreu said. ‘‘It’s the same. In this game, especially on the offensive side, you never know enough about the things that you can do and the things you can improve in your game.’’

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