White Sox

Jammed shoulder doesn't slow down Adam Eaton

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Jammed shoulder doesn't slow down Adam Eaton

KANSAS CITY -- In somewhat of a surprise, Adam Eaton returned to the White Sox starting lineup on Saturday, less than 24 hours after an early exit.

Normally, Eaton -- who left in the fourth inning of Friday’s game with a jammed shoulder -- would sit out the next day. But a series of factors led to the leadoff man playing Saturday night, including the fact that he has been outstanding since he originally hurt the shoulder diving in Cleveland two weeks ago. Eaton said he also received an “all clear” when he had an MRI performed during Friday’s game.

[MORE: Trayce Thompson enjoying the spotlight after first two MLB hits]

And, of course, the White Sox are in desperate need of a victory and Eaton never likes to miss a day.

“It’s not a structural thing,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “It’s more of a nerve thing that isn’t going to get better in one days or two days so it’s going to be there for a while. He feels good enough to go out there and do something so we’re kind of going by that and let them. If it was something I felt he could be compromised by going out there to play he wouldn’t be in there. Usually it is the case that the guy comes out of the game the night before for some reason, you’re not going to put him back in there. In talking to Herm (Schneider) and Adam, they feel he can be out there.”

Eaton hurt himself diving in a July 25 game in Cleveland and exited a few innings later. He didn’t play the next day, either.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans]

Since he returned on July 27, Eaton has a .405/.490/.619 slash line with four doubles, a triple, a homer and four RBIs in 49 plate appearances.

“We've been dealing with this for a long time,” Eaton said. “Something we're going to continue to deal with and I'm glad Skip put me back in the lineup because I want to be back in there. “

“We're getting to the days where we need to make a push and I want to be part of that with these guys. They've put in hard hours all year and it's getting down to the nitty gritty right now and I don't want to take a day off. Everyone is hurting right now.”

Eaton said he had to convince Ventura some to return to the lineup. But Ventura said Schneider’s argument counts more than Eaton’s and the White Sox trainer offered his approval.

“You like the fact that Adam wants to be in there and play,” Ventura said. “But the doctors and the medical people are the ones you take more weight with.”

White Sox reportedly one of teams 'expressing interest' in Christian Yelich, but does a trade for Marlins star make sense?

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USA TODAY

White Sox reportedly one of teams 'expressing interest' in Christian Yelich, but does a trade for Marlins star make sense?

A big offseason splash for the rebuilding White Sox?

After being rumored to potentially trade for Baltimore Orioles star Manny Machado last month during the Winter Meetings, the next name on many fans' offseason wish list is Miami Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich.

Yelich is an intriguing candidate for the obvious reason that he's really good, but he also has an uncommon amount of team control remaining on his contract, as many as five years, to be exact. It all adds up to him being a far better fit for a rebuilding team like the White Sox than the aforementioned Machado, who is slated to hit free agency after the upcoming 2018 season.

According to a Friday report from Jon Heyman, the White Sox are one of many teams "expressing interest" in Yelich, who figures to be on the trading block soon given the Marlins' activity this offseason. The Fish, now headed by Derek Jeter, have already traded away several All-Star players, with Giancarlo Stanton going to the New York Yankees, Marcell Ozuna going to the St. Louis Cardinals and Dee Gordon going to the Seattle Mariners. Yelich, who would figure to fetch a hefty return package, is speculated to be the next to go, along with catcher J.T. Realmulto. Yelich's agent told ESPN's Jerry Crasnick a couple days ago that Yelich's relationship with the Marlins is "irretrievably broken."

Joining the White Sox on Heyman's reported list are the Philadelphia Phillies, Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Angels, Toronto Blue Jays, Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox, Arizona Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres.

That's obviously a lot of competition, but the White Sox and their stacked farm system would figure to line up well with any team looking to move a star major leaguer for a big package of prospects. With all the minor league talent general manager Rick Hahn has acquired over the past year-plus, there are more highly touted players than there are spots in the White Sox lineup and rotation of the future, meaning some of those players could eventually turn into trade candidates.

But the key word there is "eventually," and it might speak to why a Yelich trade doesn't quite make sense for the White Sox right this moment.

The White Sox aren't expected to contend for a championship in 2018, and that could very well be the case in 2019, as well. This year and perhaps the next will be dedicated to waiting for all these young players to develop, and when that process concludes, Hahn and his front office will have a far better idea of what they have and what holes they need to fill — be that through a big free-agent signing or a trade. But the team hasn't reached that point yet.

Of course, there's plenty to love about Yelich. The 26-year-old already has five big league seasons under his belt, with a collective .290/.369/.432 slash line and a combined 146 doubles in those years. Plus, the power numbers have spiked in the last two seasons, with 21 homers and 98 RBIs in 2016 and 18 homers and 81 RBIs last season. He's also a Gold Glove winner in the outfield and has that alluring contract that thanks to an option could keep him away from free agency until after the 2022 season, definitely past when the White Sox hope to be perennial contenders.

A hypothetical trade for Yelich makes much more sense than one for Machado, that's for sure. But the White Sox still have spent a lot of time and effort carefully laying rebuilding plans, and those plans would need to be drastically altered, one would assume, in order to land a Fish like Yelich. It makes far more sense for the White Sox to exercise the patience that Hahn preached at the Winter Meetings and wait to see exactly what they have — and where — with their mountain of prospects.

Meet the Prospects: Evan Skoug

Meet the Prospects: Evan Skoug

The White Sox rebuild is in full swing. While it might still be a year or two before the big league team is expected to start competing for championships, the minor leagues are stocked with highly touted talent fans will be eagerly following in 2018. With that in mind, it's time to Meet the Prospects and get to know the future of the South Side.

Evan Skoug

Skoug, the 22-year-old catcher, was a seventh-round pick of the White Sox in last summer's draft.

A Libertyville native, Skoug played his college ball at TCU, where he and the Horned Frogs made three consecutive College World Series appearances in the last three years. During his final season at TCU, Skoug slashed .272/.378/.544 with a whopping 20 homers and 71 RBIs.

After joining the White Sox organization, Skoug played 21 games with Class A Kannpolis, only picking up 10 hits — but two homers and two triples — in his 76 plate appearances.

As of their most recent rankings, MLB Pipeline had Skoug rated as the No. 24 prospect in the White Sox organization.

Get to know Skoug in the video above.