There's good news and bad news on the injury front in the Chicago White Sox' outfield.
Left fielder Andrew Vaughn missed his third straight game Sunday as he deals with soreness in his legs, soreness White Sox manager Tony La Russa described in a pretty significant manner after Saturday night's game.
"He's got real achy legs," the South Side skipper said. "It's hard for him to swing, and he can’t run. He's just unavailable."
There's your explanation if you were left scratching your head over La Russa's deployment of Danny Mendick as a pinch hitter against a left-handed reliever in the waning moments of Saturday's extra-inning loss.
But what's it mean going forward? Despite some recent struggles at the plate — he's hitting .080 in his last 13 games — Vaughn has proven himself a critical part of the White Sox' lineup during his rookie season.
"He said he started feeling it the last game — or maybe he was feeling it, maybe, the second game in Oakland," La Russa said Sunday. "He's got some issues on both legs. He's not available. Wasn't available last night. Not available today.
"We're discussing right now how soon he will be available. I'm not sure what the answer is yet."
Meanwhile, though, while the White Sox wait for one of their everyday outfielders to get well, they're expecting another to return from his latest absence. La Russa said Sunday that Adam Engel is expected to rejoin the team relatively soon, at some point during the upcoming three-city road trip that starts next weekend in Texas.
Engel's been out since after the Field of Dreams game in mid August with a shoulder injury. It's the third time he's been on the IL this season. He's currently rehabbing at Triple-A Charlotte, where he's got a couple hits in four games.
Though Engel has only played in 33 games so far this season, he's proven himself effective, when healthy, both with the bat and with the glove. He's got an .844 OPS and has been particularly successful against right-handed pitching, that OPS all the way up to .932 against righties.
Engel would figure to receive the majority of the starts in right field once he's back.