CLEVELAND — The White Sox health report looks more like a seven-car pileup.
Outfielder Adam Eaton is the seventh player currently on the disabled list for the White Sox after he was placed on the 15-day DL on Saturday with a right hamstring strain.
Through 30 games the White Sox have already had eight players hit the DL and only one of the seven on it, Conor Gillaspie, is expected back within a week.
The team’s injuries have kept trainer Herm Schneider busy, travel director Ed Cassin creating itineraries, clubhouse manager Vince Fresso sewing names on jerseys and manager Robin Ventura scrambling to fill out the lineup card.
The White Sox also recalled reliever Frank De Los Santos from Triple-A Charlotte, claimed outfielder Moises Sierra off waivers from Toronto and moved Nate Jones from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL as he prepares to have back surgery on Monday, the team said.
“Sometimes when it rains it pours, guys just keep going down,” Ventura said. “For these guys, you just have the mindset of the next guy up. We had that a little bit in 2012 with the bullpen and guys needing time and going down. That’s part of the game. That’s why it’s a long season. It’s hard. You know you’re not going to rely on 25 guys to go the whole year. You need a bunch of guys to be able to do this, and that’s what we’re doing right now.”
De Los Santos could already become the 34th player to appear in a game for the White Sox this season.
With the bullpen overworked in part because of Jones injury, the White Sox opted to promote the left-hander, who has a 0.63 ERA in eight minor league appearances this season.
Ventura said the club opted to place Eaton on the DL instead of play him at 70-80 percent, as the leadoff man estimated himself.
Eaton, who missed five games with an assortment of left leg injuries, has dealt with his right leg over the past few days. All of his troubles began when he hit the bag at first awkwardly in an April 18 loss at the Texas Rangers.
“I wish I could mask it a little better,” Eaton said. “It's not fun at all. It sucks, I've never been hurt in the minor leagues and college and all of a sudden I get hurt here every other day. It's going to be tough sitting around watching everyone else have fun.”
Eaton is yet another critical component to be sidelined for the White Sox.
Gillaspie’s absence has taken some balance away from Ventura’s lineup and a good stick. The left-handed hitting Gillaspie was batting .302 with 12 RBIs through 16 games.
A lynchpin in the bullpen, Jones has been out since April 4 with lower back issues that haven’t healed. On Monday, Jones will have a mini discectomy to relieve the pressure on nerves in his back and reduce his pain. He could be ready to resume baseball activity in a month, Ventura said.
Also gone is two-time All Star Chris Sale, who played catch at 180 feet on Saturday and is expected to throw a bullpen session on Monday. Pitching coach Don Cooper said the session would be light and Sale still needed to participate in a medium and hard bullpen, though those haven’t yet been planned.
The White Sox also are without outfielder Avisail Garcia for the remainder of the year with a torn labrum in his left shoulder, and starting pitcher Felipe Paulino is on the DL with rotator cuff inflammation. Both Paulino and Jeff Keppinger (sore shoulder) began rehab assignments this weekend, but Ventura said neither is close to a return.
The injury bug has sapped the White Sox, who lost three straight entering Saturday.
“I guess you'd rather have them now,” Eaton said. “Statistics say injuries usually happen early rather than later. Seems like guys get hurt in the first month. Hopefully we get our injury bug out of the way. Good thing it's been nothing too major with Sailor and me. Hopefully we get back in a reasonable amount of time and we'll be fine.”