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Prospect Adolfo returns from injury scare to DH

MLB.com @RichardJustice

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- All things considered, it was an extremely productive day for White Sox outfield prospect Micker Adolfo. Six days ago, he didn't know if he'd play another game this season. On Thursday, he did just that.

Adolfo got three at-bats as a designated hitter in a "B" game against the Padres in Peoria. For the record, he grounded out, walked and flied out to right field. Not that anyone will remember that part of the deal.

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- All things considered, it was an extremely productive day for White Sox outfield prospect Micker Adolfo. Six days ago, he didn't know if he'd play another game this season. On Thursday, he did just that.

Adolfo got three at-bats as a designated hitter in a "B" game against the Padres in Peoria. For the record, he grounded out, walked and flied out to right field. Not that anyone will remember that part of the deal.

For a couple of days last week, Adolfo feared this might be a lost season when he was diagnosed with two tears in the ligaments in his right elbow. And the White Sox emphasize he still might need surgery.

For a game that started at 10 a.m. with a handful of people watching, it probably mattered more to Adolfo than all the others combined.

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"I felt great being able to play in a real game in two weeks, much more adrenaline going because it's not the same doing sim games as it is playing in an actual game," Adolfo said. "I was seeing the ball well. Just gotta get my rhythm and timing again, and I'll be fine. My elbow felt great, didn't feel pain, and I'm just happy to be playing again!"

The 21-year-old, one of the bright stars of the White Sox farm system, signed for $1.6 million as a 17-year-old out of the Dominican Republic.

Ankle and hand injuries limited Adolfo to 91 games his first two full professional seasons, but in 2017 at Class A Kannapolis, he showed off an array of skills with a .784 OPS, 28 doubles and 16 home runs in 112 games.

Adolfo is not a finished product. He struck out 149 times and walked another 31 in 473 plate appearances. More than that, though, he just needs to go out and play and continue to figure things out.

Video: Adolfo on progress in Kannapolis

Doctors have told the team that as long as Adolfo can swing the bat without pain, he will do no additional damage to the elbow. So the Sox have decided to let him DH as long as he can.

In a best-case scenario, the elbow will begin to heal and allow him to return to right field -- yes, Adolfo has that kind of arm -- without surgery. If he does need surgery, the White Sox want to get him as many at-bats as possible. Recovery time is eight to nine months.

"It was huge [to get him on the field]," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "He's been wanting to get out there. We've been taking it slow with him, making sure he was comfortable. He was very excited to play. We were also. We need him to start getting into the rhythm of things and get ready for the season. He felt good in terms of his health, which is what we were most concerned about."

Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice.

Chicago White Sox, Micker Adolfo