White Sox prospect Alec Hansen sidelined with forearm soreness
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GLENDALE, Ariz. — Right-hander Alec Hansen, who was scheduled to make his second Cactus League appearance Tuesday, felt soreness in his right forearm during a bullpen session and will take a step back before easing his way back to the mound.
The news was the latest in a run of health issues plaguing White Sox prospects this spring. Hansen, 23, was sent for an MRI exam, which showed no damage.
‘‘Everything is fine with Alec,’’ general manager Rick Hahn said. ‘‘Anytime a guy expresses [soreness], we understandably — especially this time of year — err on side of caution and shut him down, get him looked at.’’
Hahn said the 6-9 Hansen, who is pegged to open the season at Class AA Birmingham, should begin the season without restrictions. He is ranked 40th among prospects by Baseball Prospectus and is coming off a 2017 season in which he led the minors in strikeouts.
The Sox have endured camp injuries to third-base prospect Jake Burger (ruptured Achilles) and outfield prospects Eloy Jimenez (knee tendinitis) and Micker Adolfo (sprained ulnar collateral ligament). Jimenez is the fourth-ranked prospect by Baseball America.
Hahn said Hansen was sent for the MRI ‘‘to clear the general manager’s mind, not his, because of the way things have gone the first few weeks.’’
Hansen’s velocity topped out at 93 mph in his first Cactus League appearance Sunday. His fastball sat in the mid-90s and touched 98 or 99 mph last season.
Tilson among first roster cuts
The Sox optioned outfielder Charlie Tilson and right-hander Thyago Vieira to Class AAA Charlotte and right-hander Jose Ruiz to Class A Winston-Salem in their first round of roster moves.
They also reassigned Burger, right-hander Dylan Covey, catcher Alfredo Gonzalez, left-hander Jordan Guerrero and right-hander Michael Ynoa to minor-league camp.
Tilson, a New Trier graduate acquired in a trade with the Cardinals in 2016, has battled injuries since joining the organization. He is healthy this spring but never was considered a candidate to win the opening-day job in center field after missing last season with foot and ankle injuries. He was 3-for-18 in Cactus League games.
Hahn said Tilson will play every day at Charlotte.
Jim Thome Day
Slugger Jim Thome’s Hall of Fame induction will be celebrated with Jim Thome Day on Aug. 11 at Guaranteed Rate Field. A pregame ceremony will honor Thome, who played for the Sox in 2006-09, and the first 20,000 fans will receive Hall of Fame bobbleheads.
Patience with Kopech
Hahn said he expects the opening-day roster to be made up of players already in camp, but he made it clear top pitching prospect Michael Kopech, 21, won’t be on it.
‘‘I don’t foresee that happening,’’ Hahn said. ‘‘You’re talking about a very young pitcher who has 15 innings above Double-A. There are still elements of his development that need to occur at the minor-league level.’’
Kopech likely will be called up during the season.
Follow me on Twitter @CST_soxvan.