The AL Central leading Chicago White Sox have lost another exciting young player to a long-term injury. On Thursday, the club announced that second baseman and contact machine Nick Madrigal had been placed on the 60-day injured list with a “proximal tear of his right hamstring.” Outfielder Brian Goodwin was called up in a corresponding move.
White Sox general manager Rick Hahn told reporters, including The Athletic’s James Fegan, that Madrigal will be shut down a minimum of six weeks, and season-ending surgery is a possibility. For now, Madrigal is deciding between surgery and a rest-and-rehab approach. He suffered the injury running out a ground ball Wednesday night, and had to be helped off the field.
“Unfortunately it’s a conversation we’ve had before,” manager Tony La Russa told reporters, including Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times, about losing another key player to injury after Wednesday’s game. “You don’t want to disrespect who Nick is, but at the same time the games do go on. We just hope it’s not a big tear that puts him out for a long time. He’s a big part of our club.”
Madrigal, 24, owns a .305/.349/.425 batting line with two home runs and a league-leading four triples in 54 games this season. He’d recently moved to the top of the lineup, and his 7.9 percent strikeout rate is the second lowest among qualified hitters. His 3.4 percent swing and miss rate is second lowest in the game.
The White Sox are already without Eloy Jiménez (torn pectoral) and Luis Robert (torn hip flexor) long-term and potentially for the entire season. Madrigal joins them on the 60-day injured list. The Goodwin call up allows the club to slide Leury García from center field to second base to replace Madrigal. Danny Mendick is also an option.
Chicago comes into Thursday with a 37-24 record and four-game lead over Cleveland in the AL Central. Their plus-86 run differential leads the American League and is second only to the Dodgers (plus-89) in baseball overall. Given their place in the standings, the White Sox figure to seek a bat prior to the July 30 trade deadline, either in the outfield or at second base.