DETROIT -- If you saw the replay, the news Wednesday that Charlie Tilson is out for the season with a torn left hamstring shouldn’t come as a surprise.
The White Sox placed their rookie outfielder on the disabled list and announced he’s set to have season-ending surgery on his hamstring on Thursday. Tilson injured himself Tuesday in an attempt to run down a fly ball in the fifth inning of his major league debut. He became the fourth White Sox rookie to suffer a major injury on or before his first game this season. The White Sox recalled J.B. Shuck from Triple-A Charlotte to take Tilson’s spot.
“I can’t even imagine,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “This is a dream. He gets called up, gets a hit in his first at-bat and after that it all gets taken away from you for a while. It’s tough. All the guys on the team, as much as you want to put it out of your mind, you feel for the kid.”
Acquired on Sunday, the New Trier High School product and former St. Louis Cardinals farmhand barely hand a chance to meet his new teammates. He arrived in Detroit on Tuesday and met the team on the bus from the hotel.
Tilson’s debut was off to a fantastic start on Tuesday night as he singled in his first at-bat in the third inning and shared a conversation at the bag with Miguel Cabrera, who handed him the ball from his base hit. Seated behind home plate, Tilson’s family roared in delight.
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Two innings later, Tilson was sprawled across the outfield grass after his leg buckled in pursuit of Cabrera’s drive to right center. Adam Eaton was the first one over to Tilson and immediately had a sense his injury was serious.
“You could tell he was kind of in shock with what just happened,” Eaton said. “Tough go for him. It’s not how you pictured your debut to go. By the same token, he left us with a good impression. He ran really well, got the hit there in his first at-bat. Hopefully he can heal up and be ready for spring training.”
The White Sox should have more information on how long Tilson will be out later in the week.
Ventura is hopeful Tilson will be back for spring training. But he didn’t know much beyond the next two months.
“He’s got enough tears in it that he’s going to have surgery, so the chances of us having him back this year aren’t going to happen,” Ventura said. “It’s crazy, it’s unfortunate. You feel for the kid that he gets an opportunity to come up here and something like that happens.”