MINNEAPOLIS — The White Sox designated outfielder Adam Eaton for assignment on Wednesday and reinstated Adam Engel from the injured list.
Signed to an $8 million deal in the offseason to be their everyday right fielder, Eaton, 32, batted .201/.298/.344 with five homers, eight doubles, two triples, 28 RBI and 33 runs scored over 58 games. This was his second stint with the White Sox, coming after he helped the Washington Nationals win a World Series in 2019.
“I should have played better,” Eaton told the Sun-Times via text message. “My own fault. I’ve never had a long leash in this game. I didn’t think it would start now.”
Eaton batted first in the Sox’ 4-1 victory over the Twins Tuesday and contributed an RBI single. He has battled hamstring and other nagging leg issues this season.
“We elected playing time going forward,” manager Tony La Russa said. “Young guys who are healthy, can now give them at-bats to see how much they can help us this year. To have a veteran sitting around not playing kind of goes against why he was brought here. The reality is to develop our young guys more than anything.”
Engel, 29, went on the injured list June 22 for the second time this season with a strained right hamstring. He is batting .241 with three home runs in 10 games. The homers have come in the last seven games.
Eaton’s deal pays him $7 million this season and included an $8.5 million option for 2022 with a $1 million buyout.
“It says a lot,” La Russa said. “That’s why our players know the commitment. They’ve already proven it, the signing of Liam Hendriks and trading for [Lance] Lynn. They’ve done it consistently. It’s painful. But we’ve got a shot and they’re into giving us our best shot.”
La Russa called it “a very difficult decision for the organization.”
Grandal has surgery
Yasmani Grandal had surgery to repair a tear in a tendon of his left knee Tuesday, the White Sox said.
Grandal suffered the tear while trying to check his swing in Monday’s game against the Twins, and on Tuesday the Sox said Grandal would be out four to six weeks. The procedure doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t return during that time frame.
“An updated timeline will be provided in the future, although doctors continue to expect Grandal to return during the 2021 regular season,” the Sox said in a statement.
After Grandal was evaluated Tuesday in Chicago, the determination was made for him to have surgery. The procedure was performed at Gold Coast Surgery Center by Nikhil Verma of Midwest Orthopedics at Rush, the Sox’ team doctor, with Shane Nho assisting.
The Sox are going with Zack Collins as their No. 1 catcher. Seby Zavala, called up from Triple-A Charlotte Tuesday, started against the Twins Wednesday afternoon.