Adam Eaton exits after first at-bat in White Sox’ loss
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN Staff Reporter August 8, 2014 10:45PM
Updated: August 9, 2014 12:45AM
SEATTLE — Center fielder Adam Eaton was back in the White Sox’ lineup Friday, but not for long. After grounding to third baseman Kyle Seager to lead off the game against the Seattle Mariners, Eaton lightly jogged about halfway down the line before stopping because of soreness in his rib cage.
Leury Garcia took Eaton’s place in center in the Sox’ eventual 4-1 loss.
“[Trainer] Herm [Schneider] threw it out there that it might be an oblique,” Eaton said. “We’re not real sure right now. That first or second swing something kind of gave way. Kind of a pain in the right back, rib area.”
Eaton was injured Wednesday crashing into the right-center-field fence at full speed at U.S. Cellular Field. He left with a sore lower back and didn’t play Thursday against the Mariners. Eaton said Friday that “lower back” was the cited issue, “but it’s kind of whole body.’’
Eaton has missed all or parts of 25 games. He was on the disabled list with a hamstring injury and has also dealt with other leg, ankle and wrist injuries and has a broken bone in the middle finger of his right hand.
He and manager Robin Ventura said Eaton was “good to go” before the game.
“Today he says he’s feeling great, so you let him go,’’ Ventura said.
Eaton had a nine-pitch at-bat against Hisashi Iwakuma, fouling off four pitches with two strikes before slapping the chopper to third. He was batting .444 in his last 13 games and .424 in his last 23.
Cooper-less but not rudderless
John Danks had a side session without pitching coach Don Cooper, and it went well.
“It went really well, in fact, which is good,’’ said Danks, who got routed for four home runs by the Texas Rangers in his last start. “I have to get back on track.’’
Cooper missed his 15th game with a lingering case of vertigo and will miss the rest of the road trip that continues with two games in San Francisco next week. Bullpen coach Bobby Thigpen, who stepped up for 10 games last season when Cooper was out with diverticulitis, carries on.
“It’s different,’’ Danks said. “He’s been the only coach I’ve had here. He’s out for that much time, it starts getting a little weird, but I don’t think we’re losing anything by having Thiggy here. Everything they do is together, so Thiggy is in on all our conversations and sides.’’
Sox pitchers gave up 51 runs over the first five games this week, but to a man none attributes the ineffectiveness to the absence of the 58-year-old Cooper, the longest-tenured coach on the staff with 12 years in his current role.
“I would have gotten hit around like I did the other day with or without Coop,’’ Danks said. “We know what we have to do.’’
Danks, who starts the series finale Sunday, threw all of his pitches and went longer than usual in the bullpen Friday.
“You have to do what you have to do to make things right,’’ he said.
Thigpen likes his job as bullpen coach, mostly because he doesn’t have to talk as much at meetings when the staff goes over opposing hitters. Besides, Cooper is a better talker, Thigpen said.
“It’s the same material that we go over,’’ Thigpen said. “It’s really the only thing. Like last year, the only difference is his voice isn’t here, his constant bantering, which is what everyone misses. They miss him in the dugout. I miss being in the bullpen. We have to make the adjustments.’’