Predicting The Future Of White Sox Prospects
Charlie Tilson became the latest White Sox call-up to suffer an injury immediately after arriving with the team. He's the fourth player to be hurt either in his first game, or before his first game.
There was Kevan Smith suffering back spasms just before he was scheduled to make his first start with the team. Jason Coats collided with J.B. Shuck in the outfield during his first game, and had to leave early to get stitches in his mouth. Matt Davidson broke his damn foot while making his White Sox debut, and on Tuesday, Tilson strained his hamstring chasing down a ball in the gap.
The White Sox are clearly doomed and cursed, but the question is how doomed and cursed are they?
Well, I can't see the future, but psychics can. So I went to see Mystic Mallory this morning with photos of the major White Sox prospects to ask her what the future held for our major assets.
Zack Burdi (MLB.com Prospect ranking: 4): With the White Sox bullpen in such a poor state this season, Burdi is called up in September just so the front office can get an idea of what they have heading into 2017. While they aren't framing it as such, it's meant to be a try-out of sorts for next season, as the team heads into the winter unsure what it wants to do with David Robertson or Nate Jones.
Burdi will be called upon to make his debut on Sept. 6 at home against the Tigers. The Sox will trail 3-1, with runners on first and second with one out in the 8th inning. Burdi will enter through the bullpen gate and trot toward the mound. Everything will be fine until, as he approaches the mound, Burdi trips as a cleat gets stuck in the grass. He'll then land face first on the mound, face-planting into the rubber.
It will knock out three of Burdi's teeth, and he will be removed from the game. He won't be put on the disabled list, however, because it's September. So does this count as part of the curse? It's unclear.
Trey Michalczewski (7): Michalczewski will be called up next June after Todd Frazier is placed on the disabled list with a strained oblique. After getting off to a torrid start in Charlotte, Rick Hahn decides to give him a shot, and ride the hot hand, hoping he can replace Frazier's production.
White Sox manager Ross Gload pencils Trey in at third on his first day, hitting sixth.
Michalczewski is doing an interview out on the field during batting practice when Avisail Garcia, the starting White Sox centerfielder, loses his grip on the bat and sends it flying. The bat twirls through the air until it meets its final destination: the back of Michalczewski's head.
Trey is then placed on the 7-day disabled list with a concussion.
Jameson Fisher (9): Okay, maybe Jameson Fisher isn't a top prospect within the organization, but after watching video of him, I have a full-blown prospect crush on him. I just love his swing, and while I'm not sure what his position is, I believe he's going to hit his way to Chicago eventually. So I brought his photo to Mystic Mallory.
I wish I hadn't.
It turns out that, after having a great spring training with the Sox before the 2018 season, Fisher earns a spot on the Opening Day roster. As the Sox wrap up camp, and begin prepping for their trip to Chicago, Fisher is attacked by a jaguar as he loads his bag onto the bus. He survives the attack because, luckily, he's surrounded by baseball players, and all baseball players hunt. So the jaguar is shot by no less than 10 of Jameson's teammates before it can get to his throat.
Still, Jameson suffers major injuries, and never plays baseball again.
I am heartbroken.
Spencer Adams (3): The White Sox call Spencer Adams up in June 2018. Not as an injury replacement, or as a spot-starter. He's up to be a permanent fixture in the rotation, as an excellent season at Birmingham in 2017, and a great start in Charlotte in 2018 has convinced White Sox general manager Ed Farmer that Adams is ready.
Before his first start against division rival Minnesota, Adams is going over the game plan with pitching coach Don Cooper and manager Timo Perez when Cooper gets excited. As is usually the case when Coop is talking pitching, the arms are moving around, and he's gesticulating. Unfortunately he gesticulates an elbow right into Spencer's face, breaking his nose.
It's not a major injury, but it does delay Adams' debut.
Alec Hansen (8): The White Sox drafted Hansen in the 2nd round of the 2016 draft knowing he was a bit of a project. He has a huge arm, with a plus fastball, plus slider and a good changeup, but his control is virtually non-existent. But, somehow, someway, it all comes together for Hansen, and by 2018 he's considered the top prospect in the farm system.
The 23-year old is called up a day after Spencer Adams to get a spot-start after Adams' injury threw the Sox rotation into a bit of a tizzy. Hansen is only coming up to make a start, and then will head back down to Charlotte. This is all understood.
Mystic Mallory told me that Hansen boards his flight to Chicago, and while over Kentucky, the flight experiences some severe turbulence. Like "oh my god we're going to die" turbulence. The oxygen masks have dropped turbulence.
Hansen then looks out his window and sees what he swears is some kind of gremlin on the wing.
Shit is getting real.
Miraculously, though, the flight remains in the air and lands at O'Hare only a few minutes late. Hansen departs the plane and heads to the baggage claim to pick up his bag. It's taking a bit longer than usual, but after waiting patiently, Alec finally sees his bag emerge from the back room.
He goes to pick it up, and as he does, he strains a muscle in his ribcage.
He's placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Zack Collins (2): Collins joins the White Sox in September of 2017. The Sox are en route to another fourth-place finish, and Collins is brought up just to get some playing time against Major League pitching with the hope that he can earn a spot in 2018. He's been mashing in the minors, and the Sox desperately need left-handed power since designated hitter Carlos Beltran has announced he's going to retire at the end of the season.
In his very first MLB at bat, Collins draws a walk, and heads to first. He's left there following a Carlos Sanchez strikeout to end the inning.
Collins makes his way to the plate again a few innings later, and this time he sees a delicious fastball on the very first pitch. He swings, connects, and sends the ball 450 feet into the right field stands. It's his first career home run, and he's elated.
As he approaches first base he raises his right arm to give White Sox first base coach Aaron Rowand a high-five, which he does, but then Collins catches the corner of first base and trips over the bag.
Collins then puts his left hand down to brace for the impact, but the way he lands separates his left shoulder.
He's out for the rest of the season.
I then pay Mystic Mallory a fee and bid her adieu, getting out of there before something bad happens to me. I return home, and immediately stub my toe on the coffee table.
Life is pain, and the White Sox are doomed.