Tag Archives: Jake Burger

Upates from Glendale: Burger undergoes surgery, Giolito and Jimenez start hot

By Cat Garcia

It’s been anything but dull for the first few weeks of White Sox training camp in Glendale, Arizona. Sox fans have been able to catch a glimpse not only of live action baseball, but of their stars of the future.

With that being said, it certainly hasn’t been a Spring Training for the faint of heart. Multiple injuries have mounted on the field, Miguel Gonzalez struggled in his first outing back in a White Sox uniform, and folks caught a glimpse of the less refined version of their future superstar pitcher Michael Kopech.

From Jake Burger to Nicky Delmonico, let’s take a look at the biggest takeaways from camp so far.

Jake Burger Out For 2018

White Sox first-rounder Jake Burger ruptured his Achilles during a sprint to first base during a game against the Athletics on February 27th. Burger underwent successful surgery on his Achilles on March 1st in Chicago and is expected to miss the entire 2018 season. Despite the shocking turn of events, Burger has a positive outlook on the situation. “I can focus on nutrition, focus on my diet, focus on my body,” Burger told the media in Glendale after the injury occurred. “I actually texted my academic guy back at Missouri State, and I’m going to go back for an intersession course, get three hours in.” Burger said he spoke with newly appointed White Sox ambassador and former starter Jose Contreras, who suffered the same injury in 2008. “He was like, ‘Look, man, it’s a tough recovery, but you’ll get back,’” Burger said of Contreras. “He said he lost 30 pounds while going through it. I’m looking forward to that and I’m looking forward to being back with my family for a couple of weeks.”

Lucas Giolito Impresses

The future is bright for young White Sox starter Lucas Giolito, who showed flashes of brilliance in his short debut with the big league club at the end of 2017. But in training camp, Giolito seems to be picking up where he left off. Giolito has started two games and pitched a total of six innings, while accumulating nine strikeouts, and eight of those nine punchouts came on Saturday afternoon against the Chicago Cubs. Giolito walked two on the afternoon and pitched four solid innings. “I was just trying to mix my it up a lot,” Giolito told the media after his outing on Saturday. “I was throwing the slider pretty much for strikes and was throwing the curveball a bit sharper, which is what I have been working on. With two strikes, I was able to get guys out with it. Overall my breaking stuff was working pretty well.” Giolito allowed just one earned run on Saturday, a homer off Cubs backup catcher Victor Caratini.

Nicky Delmonico and Tyler Saladino Suffer Outfield Collision

As if the White Sox stockpile of injuries could mount any higher — two most players were added to the heap on Sunday. Outfielder Nicky Delmonico and shortstop Tyler Saladino collided trying to catch a pop-up in the seventh inning, and the collision prompted manager Rick Renteria to remove Saladino from the game and place him on the 7-day concussion list, while Delmonico has suffered a separated shoulder. “Just extended it,” Renteria said of the Delmonico injury. “Didn’t pop it. Didn’t do anything. Just got extended and jammed it a little bit.” With just two weeks until Opening Day, it is possible that for precautionary reasons, Delmonico will open the season on the disabled list. Delmonico was slated to be the White Sox starting left fielder, which now leaves the club ready to test the waters with Ryan Cordell, Leury Garcia and other options to fill that role.

Eloy Jimenez Returns

Not all of camp has been exceptionally gloomy in the way of injuries for the White Sox this spring. After being sidelined for two weeks with left knee tendinitis, the infamous Eloy Jimenez played his first full game of the spring on Sunday against the Diamondbacks. Jimenez first stepped up to the plate as a pinch-hitter in Saturday’s game, only to hit a go-ahead home run that tied the game 4-4. Sunday, Jimenez continued his success, hitting another home run in his first at-bat off Diamondbacks starter Patrick Corbin. Jimenez went on to hit a triple on a line drive to centerfield and walked in his final plate appearance of the day. Despite the success, Jimenez has only played a handful of games above Class A and will begin the season in Double A Birmingham, even if the stay there is short before he ventures up to Charlotte. The show will go on for Jimenez, just not with the big league club for right now.

Sox Draft Power and Discipline

With the 11th and 49th pick in the Monday night’s MLB draft, the White Sox added two players to their budding minor league talent pool. Taken at 11 was third baseman Jake Burger out of Missouri State while pick 49 was Gavin Sheets, a first baseman out of Wake Forest.

Burger was ranked as the best third baseman in the draft and was the first hot corner defender taken. The White Sox believe he has the ability to stick at third defensively. Power, however, is Burger’s calling card.

“Jake was the guy we identified early in the process, back with Team USA, as being a guy that we felt had the best right-handed power in the country,” White Sox Director of Amateur Scouting Nick Hosteler said. “Last year we feel like we added the best left-handed power in the country (catcher Zach Collins). This year we added the best right-handed power in the country. We identified Jake early and he was a guy, hit-wise, that was exactly what we wanted to do as an organization.

Burger piled up some meaty numbers in his three seasons with the Bears with a career slash line of .339/.420/.620. In 710 at-bats he posted 47 home runs and 79 walks against 102 strike outs. In 2017, he walked 43 times and struck out 38 times with a .328/.443/.648 slash line and 22 home runs in 247 at-bats.

Power would be the theme of the night. Sheets pounded 20 home runs in in 227 at-bats his final year at Wake Forest. He also put up a .322/.429/.634 slash line and walked more than he struck out (44 walks versus 33 strike outs).

Hostetler has said a number of times that the White Sox are reshaping their organization with plate-discipline throughout the minor leagues. Whether Zach Collins with their first pick of last year’s draft or, now Burger and Sheets, the idea seems to be grabbing bats that know their way around the strike zone and what pitches they can do damage on. In that regard, Burger and Sheets fit cleanly into a talent-packed system that, prior to this draft, was heavier on arms than hitters.