Adam Engel is going on the injured list as the White Sox take mid-pandemic precautions, though the outfielder has not tested positive for COVID-19.
General manager Rick Hahn revealed ahead of Monday’s series-opener against the Detroit Tigers that Engel has not tested positive but that he might have come into close contact with an infected person. And so he’ll go on the injured list until it’s deemed safe for him to return to the team.
According to Hahn, the White Sox collaborated with Major League Baseball, as well as their own team doctors, to determine that no one else associated with the team is at any risk at this time, allowing Monday’s game to proceed as planned.
As for when Engel, who has had a productive first third of the 2020 campaign, could return to the White Sox, Hahn said it’s too early to know.
“I can't give you any read on that, not because I'm hiding anything, it's because it doesn't exist yet,” he said. “We're going to continue with MLB and the doctors and go through the requisite testing protocols, and how he comes through that will dictate when he returns.
“It could be short. I hope it's short, obviously. That'd be good news for everyone involved. But it may take a while, we don't have an answer to that yet. The next 48 hours will probably dictate how long of a potential isolation we're talking about.”
It’s back-to-back blows for the White Sox outfield depth, with Engel’s trip to the injured list coming just days after it was announced that Leury García needed thumb surgery and would miss the remainder of the regular season.
Outfield prospect Luis González was brought up from the team’s alternate training site in Schaumburg on Monday and could be the first outfielder off the bench should Rick Renteria need a reserve for Eloy Jiménez, Luis Robert or Nomar Mazara. Danny Mendick, currently manning second base on a daily basis while both García and Nick Madrigal are on the injured list, and Ryan Goins might also options in the outfield in a pinch.
Engel played in 14 of the White Sox first 22 games, posting a .263/.317/.500 slash line with two homers, five RBIs and three doubles in 41 trips to the plate.