Micker Adolfo

Arthroscopic surgery knocks Micker Adolfo out for the rest of the 2019 season

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USA TODAY

Arthroscopic surgery knocks Micker Adolfo out for the rest of the 2019 season

Among the bad news Rick Hahn delivered Monday was an unfortunate update on Micker Adolfo.

One of the organization’s top-ranked outfield prospects, Adolfo is, like Michael Kopech and Dane Dunning, in recovery mode after having Tommy John surgery in 2018. But the outfielder needs arthroscopic surgery on his elbow, which will happen Tuesday and knock him out for the remainder of the 2019 season.

Hahn said the team expects that Adolfo will be back and without restrictions come spring training 2020.

“Micker Adolfo will be visiting with Dr. Andrews (on Tuesday), at which time he will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow,” Hahn said Monday. “We are expecting it to be a debridement or a removal of scar tissue, as well as potentially some work done on the nerve, a nerve transposition in the forearm.

“That will knock Micker out for the remainder of the 2019 season. However he will be able to resume baseball activities shortly after the season ends, and we project him to be able to join us in 2020 spring training as an outfielder without any restrictions whatsoever.”

It’s obviously an unfortunate result for Adolfo, who first suffered an arm injury early last year. The White Sox hoped to avoid surgery by limiting Adolfo to work as a designated hitter. But though Adolfo put up some good offensive numbers, surgery was necessary, and his 2018 season came to an end in early July.

Adolfo started this season with Double-A Birmingham, again as a DH, playing in 23 games. He went on the injured list at the end of last month and now won’t play in another game before this season is over.

Between a strong bat and an outfield arm that’s previously been ranked as the finest in the White Sox minor league system, Adolfo looked like a potential important piece of the rebuilding franchise’s future. Despite a crowded group of minor league outfielders, Adolfo seemed capable of standing out. He still could, of course, but this setback will rob him of even more developmental time in the minor leagues as the White Sox steam toward seasons in which plenty of fans expected them to have a contending roster.

After breaking out with a nice 2017 season at Class A Kannapolis, Adolfo will head into the 2020 season having played just 102 games over the previous two campaigns at Class A Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham.

While it’s the same significant injury that Adolfo’s been dealing with for more than a year, it’s another long layoff for a piece of the White Sox future. Carlos Rodon joined Adolfo, Kopech, Dunning and Zack Burdi in the Tommy John club Monday, Luis Robert missed all but 50 games last season with thumb injuries, Jake Burger is still in recovery mode after suffering a pair of Achilles tears in 2018, and Alec Hansen missed a lot of time last year with a forearm injury.

It’s an ever-growing list of brutal blows for a rebuilding team that can’t seem to stop taking them. When Adolfo is ready for the big leagues at this point is a mystery.

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White Sox send Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease to Triple-A Charlotte

White Sox send Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease to Triple-A Charlotte

The last waiting game begins now.

Eloy Jimenez was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte on Wednesday as part of the White Sox latest round of roster cuts in spring training. The No. 1 prospect in the organization begins his final few weeks as a minor leaguer before making his major league debut, which is expected to come before the end of the season's first month in April.

Joining Jimenez in heading to Charlotte was Dylan Cease, the organization's No. 3 prospect who will be getting his first taste of Triple-A action this season. Catcher Seby Zavala and Jordan Stephens were also optioned to Charlotte. Outfielder Micker Adolfo was optioned to Double-A Birmingham.

The White Sox also sent Zack Collins, Jimmy Lambert, Donn Roach and Luis Robert to minor league camp.

Jimenez is the No. 3 prospect in all of baseball and had himself a monster season in the minors in 2018, finishing with a .337/.384/.577 slash line, 22 home runs and 75 RBIs in 108 games between Birmingham and Charlotte. General manager Rick Hahn faced a ton of questions all season long about when Jimenez would reach the majors, but the White Sox opted to keep him away from the big leagues in 2018. He'll likely stay in the minors several weeks into the major league season. After a certain point, he will be unable to amass enough service time to register a full year of major league service, which will allow the White Sox to gain an additional year of control on the end of Jimenez's contract.

Hahn and the White Sox have never said that the service-time issue is why Jimenez has yet to make his major league debut, but the team is not doing anything that goes against the rules, no matter the number of complaints about how teams across the league — like the Toronto Blue Jays with top prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and the Cubs back in 2015 with Kris Bryant — deal with the financial realities of the game.

Cease will likely join Jimenez in the major leagues at some point during the 2019 season. Hahn said multiple times during the offseason that Cease is now on a similar track to the one Michael Kopech was on last season, when the top-ranked pitching prospect in the organization debuted in August.

Zavala is another candidate to make his major league debut sometime in 2019, though perhaps more likely once rosters expand at the end of the season.

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MLB Pipeline unveils its refreshed list of the top 30 prospects in White Sox system

MLB Pipeline unveils its refreshed list of the top 30 prospects in White Sox system

MLB Pipeline has been rolling out its lists of each farm system's top 30 prospects, and they finally got around to the White Sox on Thursday.

The site ranked the White Sox system as the fourth best in baseball, with its top three to be unveiled Friday. We already knew how the top six guys in the White Sox system stacked up because they were all included on MLB Pipeline's list of the top 100 prospects in the game. Now we've got the full top 30. Here it is:

1. Eloy Jimenez, OF

2. Michael Kopech, RHP

3. Dylan Cease, RHP

4. Luis Robert, OF

5. Nick Madrigal, 2B

6. Dane Dunning, RHP

7. Luis Basabe, OF

8. Micker Adolfo, OF

9. Blake Rutherford, OF

10. Luis Gonzalez, OF

11. Steele Walker, OF

12. Zack Collins, C

13. Jake Burger, 3B

14. Ian Hamilton, RHP

15. Alec Hansen, RHP

16. Zack Burdi, RHP

17. Laz Rivera, SS

18. Gavin Sheets, 1B

19. Jimmy Lambert, RHP

20. Konnor Pilkington, LHP

21. Bryce Bush, 3B

22. Seby Zavala, C

23. Jose Ruiz, RHP

24. Zach Thompson, RHP

25. Caleb Frare, LHP

26. Lincoln Henzman, RHP

27. Jonathan Stiever, RHP

28. Tyler Johnson, RHP

29. Jordan Stephens, RHP

30. Ryan Burr, RHP

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