MIAMI — One of 10 White Sox players currently on the disabled list, Brett Lawrie headed out Saturday on a rehab assignment.
The White Sox second baseman has been out of the lineup since July 22 with a strained left hamstring injury that manager Robin Ventura described as tricky. Lawrie — who is hitting .248/.310/.413 and is third on the team with 22 doubles and 12 home runs — originally hoped his missed time would be minimal. But the complexity of the injury kept him sidelined until the last few days.
After he passed several tests Friday, Lawrie joined Double-A Birmingham. How long he’ll need on his rehab will be determined the way Lawrie’s leg responds to game action.
“You’re going to see how he handles his first few games and we’ll go from there,” Ventura said. “Hopefully everything goes well the first game he is playing and he can handle it and be able to come back the next day and play as well. Then we’ll have a better understanding of where he’s going to be at.”
After they went nearly the first month without an injury, the White Sox have been hit hard. Lawrie, Austin Jackson, Miguel Gonzalez, Avisail Garcia, Alex Avila, Jake Petricka, Zach Putnam, Matt Davidson, Charlie Tilson and Daniel Webb are currently all on the DL. The injuries have been costly to an already short-handed squad, particularly in the outfield, bullpen and behind the plate.
“We’ve had a lot of guys that have gone down,” Ventura said. “That’s just part of playing. You’re seeing part of the depth issue that comes into it. You’re bringing guys up, counting on them to come in and step in and do some stuff.”
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Ventura sees it as an opportunity for younger players to fill in for their injured counterparts. But the injuries have even reached down into some of the replacements like Tilson, Davidson, Webb and catcher Kevan Smith earlier in the year. The White Sox are hopeful Lawrie can return and give them an energy boost.
“That’s good,” Ventura said. “For as many guys as we have hurt, when you have one who gets to go out and start playing again, you’re pretty excited about it. As anxious as he is and as kind of bottled up as he has been not being able to play, it’s nice for him to go out and get a few at-bats and be able to see how it feels.”