White Sox

White Sox: Adam Eaton set for shoulder surgery after season

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White Sox: Adam Eaton set for shoulder surgery after season

Adam Eaton will have shoulder surgery on Monday but expects to be able to cast a fishing line in three weeks.

The White Sox leadoff man said Sunday he’s set to have arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder, which has bothered him since he injured it diving in late July.

Eaton — who has a .287/.361/.431 slash line with 14 homers in 689 plate appearances — missed several games at the time but has played through the pain and thrived. He said the procedure is a “nerve decompression” to make sure his muscles properly function.

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“Just make sure it’s functioning next year,” Eaton said. “It’s been kind of a hassle most of the season with throwing and diving and what not. I guess just some scheduled maintenance. It’s scheduled tomorrow and should be a pretty easy recovery.

“I’m excited to sleep better and be able to put my hand above my shoulder in the future.”

Eaton injured himself enough with a dive in Cleveland on July 25 that he missed the following game and was the designated hitter when he returned on July 27. He re-aggravated the injury diving again in Kansas City in early August. While it has hindered his sleep patterns and throwing motion, Eaton hasn’t slowed down at the plate. Since July 27, Eaton is hitting .337/.409/.480 with six homers in 288 plate appearances.

“He’s played with it,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “We knew it was there, and now we’re just going to go in and clean it up so he can feel 100 percent when he gets to spring training. But he does play well when he has something wrong, so that’s a good sign. He has battled through it, and I think he’s had a good effort as far as playing through it.”

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!

Eaton admits he’s ready for this offseason more than any other before. The centerfielder has felt more pressure — whether internal or external — than ever since he signed his five-year contract extension. Combined with a team that didn’t live up to expectations and extra scrutiny, Eaton said it hasn’t been a very fun season.

“I’m very excited to recharge the batteries,” Eaton said. “Every year at this level is very stressful. Expectations are always high, with this being the highest of any year I’ve ever been in the big leagues. When you don’t do what you want to do with that year, there’s a lot of thought that goes into it the week after. There’s a lot of stress throughout the year that you don’t sleep well because you want to play well and you want to put a good product out there and you want to make the playoffs and you want to do well for the city. When you don’t do it, it’s hard to come here day in and day out when you are struggling.

“We are going to definitely reflect on what I can do better as an individual and we can do better as a team and hopefully can fix a lot of things between now and April or whatever it is in our first game next year.”

Luis Robert leaves Arizona Fall League game with injury

Luis Robert leaves Arizona Fall League game with injury

White Sox prospect Luis Robert headed to the Arizona Fall League to get more playing time after injuries limited to 50 games in 2018.

He just got hurt in the Arizona Fall League.

Robert is playing with the Glendale Desert Dogs in the AFL and left Friday's game with an injury.

It's not clear what the injury was, but Robert walked off on his own power. He also has pulled out of the Bowman Hitting Challenge (a modified home run derby) that will take place Saturday.

Robert, the No. 4 White Sox prospect and No. 44 overall prospect according to MLB Pipeline, was 1-for-3 in Friday's game before exiting. He has hit safely in all four games in the AFL, going 5-for-17 (.294) with a walk and three strikeouts, but no extra base hits.

The 21-year-old is the third youngest player on the team and the AFL is a respected offseason league for prospects. A good showing from Robert would be a sign that he is beginning to develop his talent into playable tools.

The injury could be minor so no need to ring the alarm bells yet, but the AFL season is barely more than a month long. Even a short-term injury could prevent him from making up for some of the lost playing time from the 2018 minor league season.

Sonny Gray is available: Could he be a one-year stopgap for the White Sox?

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USA TODAY

Sonny Gray is available: Could he be a one-year stopgap for the White Sox?

The White Sox have a hole or two to plug in their starting rotation. Could Sonny Gray be an answer?

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Friday that he's looking to trade Gray away from the Bronx this winter.

Gray isn't as attractive an add as he was a few years back, when he was coming off a sensational 2015 campaign that saw him post a 2.73 ERA and log 208 innings. He went to the All-Star Game and finished third in the AL Cy Young vote that year.

Since, he's been less successful. He made just 22 starts with the Oakland Athletics in 2016 and had a 5.69 ERA. The following season, he started with a strong 3.43 ERA in 16 starts for the A's before the midseason trade that sent him to the Yankees, where he made 11 starts with a 3.72 ERA. This season didn't go too well, earning Gray a move to the bullpen. He finished with a 4.90 ERA in 30 games, only 23 of those being starts. He threw just 29.1 innings over his final 10 appearances of the season, three of which were starts. He had a 5.26 ERA with 50 walks in 113 innings as a starter in 2018.

Those numbers won't leap off the page (in a positive way) for anyone, but there's no doubt that a potential deal for Gray would be a low-risk move for the White Sox. For a team looking to add 40 percent of a starting rotation, being able to do so cheaply — be it from a dollar or prospect standpoint — would be a good thing, especially if the strategy ends up being to simply add one-year fill-ins while Michael Kopech recovers from Tommy John surgery and Dylan Cease makes his way to the major leagues.

However, Gray's 57-walk total from the 2018 season could be something the White Sox would want to stay away from. After all, White Sox pitchers led the AL with 653 walks this season. They also had five of the top 21 walk-issuing pitchers in the Junior Circuit: Lucas Giolito led the league with 90, James Shields was third with 78, Reynaldo Lopez was fifth with 75, Hector Santiago was 15th with 60, and Carlos Rodon was 21st with 55. Gray slotted in right ahead of Rodon.

But Gray has obviously produced results in the past, and whether the White Sox are looking to simply plug the holes in the 2019 staff or potentially find a sign-and-flip candidate for the 2019 trade deadline — he's slated to hit free agency after the 2019 season — Gray could fit that bill. One thing's for sure: He's available.