If his finger is broken, and Adam Eaton said Tuesday it isn’t, the White Sox leadoff man sure hasn’t played like it.
The outfielder has played with a jammed right middle finger since earlier this month and though it’s painful, it’s still playable.
The last point is most important to Eaton, who jammed the finger on his non-throwing hand when he slid into second base while the team was in Boston. In four games after the All-Star break, Eaton is 8-for-14 with three walks and two stolen bases.
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“I’m fine,” Eaton said. “It’s not broke. It’s just hurt. I’m fine. I don’t even want to talk about it. Let’s not talk about it. We’re good.”
White Sox manager Robin Ventura gave Eaton six days off, including two before the All-Star break, to heal. When the team returned to action on Friday, Ventura said Eaton probably benefitted from the time off most. Eaton said at the time his finger was playable but he just wanted to be “discrete” about it. He also was nursing injuries to his hamstring, left ankle, foot and neck.
Eaton carries a .284/.355/.387 slash line in 347 plate appearances this season into Tuesday’s game.
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“There’s nothing you can really do about it,” Ventura said. “He just continues to play. It’s not on his throwing hand. He felt he could play through it where it wasn’t going to really bother him that much. There is some pain with it, but he seems to manage it.”
In non-health related news, the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA) has named Eaton the team’s Heart and Hustle Award winner. The award “honors active players who demonstrate a passion for the game of baseball and best embody the values, spirit and tradition of the game.”
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“If you’re playing the right way and healthy and doing what you should be doing, you should definitely compete for that trophy every year,” Eaton said. “I’m very pleased, and I feel like I’m in with some good company. You’ve got to play hard every day, and I’m blessed to have the opportunity and I’m excited.”
The MLBPAA will select the overall winner on Nov. 18 at the Legends for Youth Dinner in New York City.