DETROIT — Robin Ventura will let Adam Eaton test his mild lower left hamstring strain on Tuesday but it doesn’t mean he’s guaranteeing he’d play.
The White Sox outfielder said he has improved since he exited Saturday night’s game early and isn’t concerned about a trip to the disabled list. But just because Eaton is confident doesn’t mean Ventura’s about to let him play. Ventura’s on to Eaton’s hockey mentality and doesn’t want his offensive sparkplug to rush back to the lineup, especially because his legs are involved.
“You’re still a little concerned just by the way the way he runs and does stuff that you’re going to make sure it’s 100 percent and it’s not anything that is going to come back and bite him,” Ventura said. “He’s kind of a maniac when he runs around, so you have to be careful with him.”
Eaton is up front about not liking time on the bench. He wants to play.
He does see value in watching games and watched how Texas Rangers left-hander Robbie Ross pitched against Alejandro De Aza on Sunday, figuring the pitcher would attack him the same way.
But Eaton wants back on the field in the worst way.
“It’s been terrible,” Eaton said. “I hate it, especially a game like (Sunday). I told these guys it’s about time we got the scrappy leadoff hitter out of there, so you guys can just rake. As long as we can play like that, we’ll be just fine. I hate sitting on the sidelines for sure, so the sooner the better.”
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Eaton knows Ventura is on the lookout for each and every telltale sign whether or not he’s healthy. He said the ailment bothers him most when he’s running at full speed.
But he’s excited to test his hamstring out anyway.
“It’s hard to get into fourth and fifth gear,” Eaton said. “The gears start cranking later there. So no DL and tomorrow we will test it and hopefully at the latest the next day in my mind. We’ve been communicating pretty well.”