Pitching prospect Burdi has torn UCL
2016 first-round pick could be headed for Tommy John surgery
CHICAGO -- White Sox pitching prospect Zack Burdi, the team's No. 10 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, has a torn ulnar collateral ligament and likely will need Tommy John surgery, general manager Rick Hahn said Friday.
Burdi will receive a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews on his elbow sometime early next week, and would be out until at least the start of Spring Training in 2019 if he undergoes the surgery, Hahn said.
"Obviously, it's unfortunate. It's a difficult development certainly for Zack and for everyone playing a part in his development," Hahn said. "But at the same time, if he is in fact back on pace for us in 2019, he'll actually probably be closer to the normal development path for a college pitcher taken just in the 2016 Draft."
Burdi, who was selected No. 26 overall in the 2016 Draft by the White Sox and projected as the organization's closer of the future, had been placed on the disabled list Thursday after leaving an outing Monday. His brother, Twins prospect Nick Burdi, had his season come to an end at the end of May when he was diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament that required Tommy John surgery.
Zack Burdi had a 4.05 ERA in 29 games for Triple-A Charlotte this season, converting seven of nine save opportunities before sustaining the injury. Burdi had catapulted up the White Sox system after being selected in last June's Draft, working his way up four levels in 38 innings while posting a 3.32 ERA. Burdi began the season as the club's No. 7 prospect, but has fallen back with recent acquisitions such as Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez coming into the fray.
"It shows you can make the best-laid plans and sometimes the baseball gods laugh," Hahn said of the injury. "But certainly part of what we're trying to accomplish here is accumulate as much talent as possible, knowing that things happen. Players get hurt, some guys don't develop quite as quickly or as well as you anticipate, and fortunately at the other end of the spectrum, you get some pleasant surprises."
Robert recovering well
Robert, the $26 million man who was the prized international signing for the White Sox on May 26, had his left knee reevaluated, and it checked out fine, according to Hahn.
The White Sox No. 4 prospect -- and the No. 23 prospect in the Majors -- was shut down for seven days last Saturday after sustaining a minor injury to the meniscus in his left knee while stealing home during a Dominican Summer League game a week and a half ago. He will ramp up his physical activities in the coming days and make his return to DSL games in coming weeks, Hahn said.
Robert had hit .255 with a homer, four RBIs and eight stolen bases in 51 at-bats for the White Sox DSL squad since signing with Chicago.
Moncada coming soon?
Hahn remained mum on when Yoan Moncada, the No. 1 prospect in baseball according to MLB Pipeline, will make his White Sox debut.
"We'll see over the coming weeks," Hahn said. "The timeline is going to be driven by the conversations we have with our player development people, and if they feel this guy has done everything we've asked of him here and it's time to move him to the next level."
Moncada has a slash line of .286/.385/.453 with 11 homers and 34 RBIs in 74 games for Charlotte this season after being acquired along with White Sox No. 3 prospect Michael Kopech in the Chris Sale deal.