Not many developments can overshadow the first spring start of Chicago White Sox fireballing phenom Michael Kopech.
Jake Burger found the worst way possible.
With two out in the bottom of the third, Burger grounded to Oakland A’s third baseman Sheldon Neuse and suffered an injury to his left Achilles tendon while running to first, about two-thirds of the way down the first-base line.
There was no announcement from the White Sox during the game, which the White Sox won, 7-6, other than to confirm the injury:
Jake Burger suffered injury to left Achilles tendon. He is currently being evaluated and his status will be updated tomorrow.— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) February 26, 2018
The problem with that muted update is a tweet that A’s beat writer Susan Slusser sent out just a few minutes later:
Left Achilles tear for Burger. “You hate to see that,” says A’s starter Kendall Graveman. “that didn’t look good.”— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) February 26, 2018
Naming Burger’s injury without official confirmation could be idle speculation on Slusser and/or Graveman’s part. But such irresponsibility would be uncharacteristic of Slusser, one of the most esteemed beat writers in baseball.
No White Sox beat writer followed up with Slusser regarding her sourcing.
So it seems that the overall No. 11 pick in the 2017 draft and No. 7 prospect in the White Sox system (per Baseball America) may miss the remainder of the season. Rehab from an Achilles injury is typically a six-to-nine month process.
Burger had played in all four spring training games for the White Sox, batting .286 with a double and a triple.
*** UPDATE ***
At 10:10 a.m. CST, the White Sox tweeted out confirmation of Burger’s injury:
Jake Burger has been diagnosed with a ruptured left Achilles’ tendon. He will have the tendon surgically repaired in Chicago later this week, but is expected to miss the 2018 season.— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) February 27, 2018