Jake Burger's time to shine is now for the Chicago White Sox

Chicago White Sox v Los Angeles Dodgers
Chicago White Sox v Los Angeles Dodgers / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

Here's an observation best fit for Captain Obvious: "Jake Burger needs to be in the Chicago White Sox lineup every day".

Burger has been on fire of late as he has been put into a position of being on the field consistently.

Burger has been pressed into action at his natural position of third base while Yoan Moncada is on the 10-day injured list (retroactive to June 14) with lower back inflammation.

Since June 4th, Burger has started and completed every game at either designated hitter or third base and he has made the most of the opportunities presented to him and has enhanced the argument he needs to be a regular starter.

The Chicago White Sox need Jake Burger in the lineup always.

Over that 10-game stretch he has belted five home runs and driven in 11 to place him second on the team in both home runs with 16 (Luis Robert Jr. has 17) and RBIs with 36 (Andrew Vaughn has 41).

What makes those numbers impressive is they have come in only 52 games which is 16 fewer played than Robert Jr. and 17 less than Vaughn.

Additionally, he has done this in 169 at-bats, which is just under 90 plate appearances less than both of them (Robert Jr. 258 and Vaughn 254).

The problem Burger faces is manager Pedro Grifol believes the team has so much talent at various positions it makes it difficult to find a place to play Burger every day.

Grifol explained the dilemma he faces this way:

" “I’m not going to sit there and explain why,” Grifol said. “Just know that if [Burger isn’t] playing, that if it’s (Gavin) Sheets or somebody else playing, that’s a better matchup that particular day. We’re going to put the best matchup out there. And that’s a good problem to have.""

The White Sox manager added,

"“To provide what Burger provides, who doesn’t want Burger in the lineup? I want him, too. However, we only have nine spots. And it’s really not nine spots because he can’t catch, play shortstop or center field.”"

But Burger can be the designated hitter and play third or first base. He has even been put at second base for a couple of innings against the Los Angeles Angels back in May.

Judging by what Grifol said, one would think he likes what Burger brings to the table, but there are better players on the roster at the positions he plays, thus getting on the field consistently is tough for him.

That's an interesting philosophy considering Burger's play has some thinking he could and should be the White Sox representative at the All-Star game in July.

One could also surmise from Grifol's statement that if Burger is playing well but can't crack the lineup because there are better players, the White Sox must be doing great.

That is not the case, however, as they find themselves well under the .500 mark.

The injury to Moncada provides Grifol with a chance to get Burger, Jimenez, and Sheets into the lineup on a regular basis. Burger will man third while Jimenez and Sheets can flip between outfield and designated hitter.

While it is true Burger is not as good a fielder as Moncada, he can be average enough to hold his own and is providing power Moncada hasn't shown since he hit 25 homers in 2019.

Chances are when Moncada returns he will be put back at third base which would relegate Burger to being the backup at the hot corner and occasional designated hitter duties.

So, where could that leave Burger? Back to being behind Moncada at the hot corner and sharing designated hitter duties with Jimenez and Sheets.

But that might not be the best thing for the club as it struggles to get back on track.

Burger provides a spark the team needs, and he has shown he has value beyond being a part-time fill-in.

The White Sox need to have their best players playing as often as possible, especially right now.

Burger falls into that category and Grifol needs to find a way to keep him there even after Moncada gets back.

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