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Micker Adolfo needs Tommy John surgery, out 8 to 10 months

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‘Setback in throwing program’ smells a bit like the expected outcome

Chicago White Sox Photo Day
MIssion Accomplished: The White Sox let Adolfo play through his elbow injury, getting him 290 at-bats this season, during which he took big steps forward.
Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images

Not much more info than this, at the moment:

Now, this announcement is deceptive, leading a reader to believe, frankly, that Adolfo or the White Sox screwed something up.

But when you take a look back at the February announcement that Adolfo was hurt, you realize that this “setback” was the likely plan all along.

It was a Hail Mary to hope that Adolfo would heal to such a degree that Tommy John surgery would be avoided. But if there was little risk in giving Adolfo the hitting reps he desperately needed (and benefited big-time from), the Chicago White Sox played this as masterfully as you can a serious injury.

The point being now, the White Sox want to stick the landing with Adolfo’s surgery and rehab. With the estimated time to come back being eight to 10 months, let’s hope that this Chicago White Sox Twitter feed notion that his right elbow surgery will be in “coming weeks” is some kind of mistweet.

Having surgery soon gets Adolfo back on the field as soon as mid-March, no later than mid-May. It makes for two seasons likely truncated, but the point is — and Hahn’s point from the beginning — no seasons are lost.

Adolfo broke out significantly over 78 games for High-A Winston-Salem this year, with 18 doubles, a triple, 11 homers, 50 RBIs and a .283/.368/.466 slash, and his .834 OPS was the 10th-best in the league. Generally speaking, in 2018 the 21-year-old’s numbers have made a leap over his overall minors averages.

Adolfo is listed as about a year-and-a-half young for the Carolina League, so the loss of a year, presuming he gets rolling next summer with the Dash, doesn’t set the slugger back.

Hat tip to Lil Jimmy for helping me to read past the alarmist “setback” language in the tweet and recognize that, strange “breaking” aspect to all of this aside, this was always the plan.

At the start of July, Adolfo sat with MiLB.com’s Nathan Brown for a really nice profile on the young clubber. Among many thoughtful quotes from Micker:

No one wants to be injured, but my dad said to just stay on top of things and control what I could control, which was the task given to me. [Manager Omar Vizquel] told me not to get lazy. So I came into this season with a chip on my shoulder. I became a student of hitting. It was the only thing I could focus on. This is a great opportunity for me to get better as a hitter, both mentally and physically. I was positive I could get the job done as a hitter, and I think I have.

Unfortunately, no matter how “planned” this surgery was or is, Adolfo — like fellow superstar international signee Luis Robert — is crossing the threshold into injury-prone. He had a broken leg in 2015, a broken hamate bone in 2016 and a pinky injury in 2017.

We’ll update the story if and when more information from GM Rick Hahn or others becomes available.