Going into possibly their most anticipated season in over a decade, the White Sox system has been been ravaged by injuries early in spring training. The latest casualty is 2017 first round draft pick Jake Burger, who collapsed while running to first base today against Oakland. After being carted off the field, it was officially announced that Beef suffered a left achilles tendon injury.
It doesn’t look good. It doesn’t feel good. In fact, it downright sucks.
I’m gutted for Jake, who was looking really solid through the early days of spring training. Hopefully this setback won’t hinder his development going forward. The Sox plan to release more info tomorrow, but don’t expect him to be back in action for some time.
But as a fan, and as one totally buying into this rebuild, it just shakes you to the core. Are the wheels falling off the rebuild? Absolutely not. But it just reminds you how much is going to have to go right for this to work out. As I wrote last summer after Moncada’s injury scare, the White Sox are going to have to be good and lucky. Today they were not.
Add Burger’s injury to a spring training list that includes Micker Adolfo’s UCL, and a minor knee injury to top prospect Eloy Jimenez that kept him out of today’s game. Adolfo, someone who has been plagued by the injury bug for a long time, has been a hot commodity among Sox fans as a prospect that could surprise many people. His injury comes right after stories about a potential Sox outfield with him, Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez. Of course that’s not out of the question, just much cloudier now.
The same goes with Burger. This injury is devastating, but it isn’t the end. It’s unsettling, clouding the journey a little bit.
On a day where Michael Kopech was throwing up triple digits from the mound, the Sox long term rebuild hopes simultaneously took a hit. It’s hard, actually impossible, to balance the positivity of Kopech’s eye-popping success today with the negativity of Burger’s awful injury.
The trades, the hope, the prospects are the sexy side of the rebuild. This is the risky side.
As much positivity as there has been, nothing is guaranteed with this. A lot has to go right, and today it didn’t.
UPDATE 2/27: White Sox officially announce that Jake Burger suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon and is out for the entire 2018 season. Will be having surgery in Chicago.
Not unexpected, but still brutal news. But everything people are sharing about Jake indicates that this will be a minor setback for a major comeback.