Sox sit TA, Eaton with injuries while waiting on Kopech news originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Chicago White Sox are approaching June, and the bumps and bruises are piling up.
The injury-update portion of Tony La Russa's pregame media session lasted a long while Thursday, with a couple regulars out of the starting lineup and White Sox fans still holding their breath for the specifics of the injury to Michael Kopech.
The team, too, is still waiting to hear what exactly is afflicting Kopech, who's still day-to-day at the moment after taking an awkward-looking fall on the mound in Wednesday's loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. The team described his injury as left hamstring soreness after the game and placed him on the bereavement list Thursday as he travels to deal with a personal matter.
La Russa shared optimism regarding Kopech, who's been perhaps the best pitcher in the White Sox bullpen and an all-around effective weapon this season after missing the last two campaigns.
"They're waiting to see," La Russa said. "You've got to give it 24, 48 hours to see. We have our fingers crossed it's not something that's going to last very long. ... We probably don't expect to know anything more until tomorrow.
"I know (the imaging that was done) was something that gives us an optimistic belief that it's going to be something we can take care of."
Meanwhile, La Russa's lineup was without Tim Anderson and Adam Eaton for Thursday's series-opener with the Baltimore Orioles.
Anderson's absence was notable as it came after a rare off day for the shortstop Wednesday. Two straight days without Anderson in the lineup was an eyebrow-raiser, for sure, and was the first thing asked of La Russa, who pointed to the typical toll a baseball season takes on a player's body.
"He's got a couple of sore spots, so we're going to get him un-sore. Should be temporary," La Russa said. "Just general soreness, the way I see it."
The White Sox later relayed a message from Anderson, who described a bit of thumb soreness in addition to the general soreness and said he expects to return to the lineup Friday.
Eaton was out of the lineup after leaving Wednesday's game with hamstring tightness, yet another hamstring plaguing the White Sox this season. He's dealt with being banged up for a while now, and La Russa pointed to necessary caution with less-than-ideal weather conditions this weekend on the South Side.
"His leg's been a little tender," La Russa said. "He's missed a couple of days. And he stole a base early and he ran a ball out (Wednesday), and he got pretty sore. Got rain, too, so the field's sloppy the next couple of days. So we're going to be very careful with him."
All the while, the team's most impactful injuries continue to loom large.
The White Sox didn't score in the final game of their series with the Cardinals, the offense remaining productive on the whole but showing the moments it badly misses big boppers Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert. When regulars like Anderson and Eaton are out of a lineup already missing the two sidelined outfielders, the White Sox batting order can sometimes look like a far cry from the potent group expected at the beginning of the spring.
Reinforcements are coming, with both outfielder Adam Engel and relief pitcher Jace Fry starting rehab assignments at Triple-A Charlotte.
But amid Thursday's flurry of injury updates, the White Sox moved Robert from the 10-day injured list to the 60-day injured list, a reminder that they'll need to keep playing well without their recovering stars to keep their World Series hopes afloat.