The Chicago White Sox depth chart took a big hit this weekend. During the eighth inning of Saturday’s Cactus League exhibition against the Cleveland Indians, Bradley Zimmer hit a sac fly to center field. Adam Engel, who entered the game as a defensive replacement for Eloy Jimenez the inning earlier, came charging in after the ball.
He tracked it down and like usual recorded the out. He then fired the ball home before falling to the ground awkwardly. He remained on the ground for a few anxious moments as White Sox fans collectively held their breath. Finally, he was able to limp off the field but the damage had been done. His right hamstring will keep him out of the lineup for a few weeks, including Opening Day.
The Chicago White Sox are going to miss having Adam Engel for a few weeks.
This is a crushing blow for the White Sox who will miss Engel roaming the outfield. He will especially be missed in late innings. Not only is Engel a premier defender, but he was also starting to heat up at the plate. He showed improvement in 2020 hitting .295 and even contributed in the postseason with a home run during the AL Wildcard Series.
He carried it over into Cactus League action. During games last Thursday and Friday, Engel had five combined extra-base hits. He came a single short of the cycle Thursday and homered in both games. Tony La Russa weighed in on the status of his fourth outfielder after the game.
"“Well, he made an absolutely great play on a short fly ball, he got a great jump, went all out for it and caught it. One of the things that caused the hamstring, the strain, was he made kind of an acrobatic move as he caught it to make the throw to the plate. So they are examining it now. He’s in great shape. He’s a fast healer.”"
While the White Sox wait for him to heal, they will need to find a replacement for Engel. Suddenly the last few spring training games have become even more meaningful for the outfielders in camp.