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Adolfo cruising with caution signs up ahead

White Sox prospect productive at plate but dealing with sprained UCL that could require surgery
MLB.com @scottmerkin

CHICAGO -- Micker Adolfo, the 10th-rated White Sox prospect per MLB Pipeline, finds himself in an encouraging, but slightly tenuous, situation for Class A Advanced Winston-Salem.

The 21-year-old right-handed slugger has followed up a strong finish to the 2017 season for Class A Kannapolis with a .328 average, three home runs, 14 RBIs and a .944 OPS over 67 at-bats with the Dash. But even if Adolfo's season continues going strong, it could come to a premature end due to a sprained UCL and strained flexor tendon in his right elbow diagnosed during Spring Training.

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CHICAGO -- Micker Adolfo, the 10th-rated White Sox prospect per MLB Pipeline, finds himself in an encouraging, but slightly tenuous, situation for Class A Advanced Winston-Salem.

The 21-year-old right-handed slugger has followed up a strong finish to the 2017 season for Class A Kannapolis with a .328 average, three home runs, 14 RBIs and a .944 OPS over 67 at-bats with the Dash. But even if Adolfo's season continues going strong, it could come to a premature end due to a sprained UCL and strained flexor tendon in his right elbow diagnosed during Spring Training.

View Full Game Coverage

A second follow-up MRI is next for Adolfo, who is currently limited to the designated hitter's role with Winston-Salem due to the injury. General manager Rick Hahn said Adolfo will continue playing in the interim as long as he's feeling good, and Adolfo reports no problems with the elbow.

But Adolfo still could be shut down, regardless of the ongoing positive results, in order to have surgery and get him ready for 2019.

"Yeah, it's a possibility," Adolfo told MLB.com during a recent phone interview. "They know what's best and [I'll] just go with their plan because they know what they are doing.

"I'm just controlling what I can control, which is taking care of my responsibilities in the training room and on the field, which is hitting right now. I don't feel anything when I'm hitting or lifting weights. Hopefully that's a good sign that it's getting better."

Adolfo stridently follows his elbow rehab program, which entails a lot of strengthening and conditioning. It's even more impressive to hear Adolfo talk about the development of his plate approach, which he characterizes as middle- to right-center.

"It helps me to not try to pull off the ball as quickly," Adolfo said. "That was an issue in the past, where my first move would be to pull off the ball, but I feel like I've got power to all fields so I can let the ball get deep and hit it out to right or right-center and if a pitcher makes a mistake and leaves it inside, trust that my hands are quick enough to get to that inside pitch.

"Don't get me wrong: I'm still young and sometimes I chase bad pitches, but it's not as aggressive as it was before. I know what pitches I can drive, what pitches I can get in certain counts.

"That's helped a lot with my confidence, knowing this is a fastball count so you have to be ready for the fastball, curveball count so be ready for the curve ball, that kind of thing," Adolfo said. "I'm trusting my hands and my body and my timing that I'll be on time and ready to hit the fastball."

Renteria provides Farquhar update
White Sox manager Rick Renteria mentioned Sunday how his players and staff are waiting for the word to visit Danny Farquhar at Rush University Medical Center. Farquhar, 31, suffered a brain hemorrhage during the sixth inning of Friday night's game, and additional overnight testing at RUSH revealed that a ruptured aneurysm caused the brain bleed.

Video: HOU@CWS: Farquhar's jersey hanging in dugout

"He's critical but stable. It's another day through," Renteria said. "No news is good news, as they say. So we believe it's positive, and we continue to hope for the best."

White Sox relievers had one of Farquhar's jerseys with them in the bullpen Saturday. Farquhar's jersey also continues to hang at his locker.

"It's shocking. It's sad," White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper said. "My prayers are with Danny, his family and the doctors that are treating him."

Earth Day celebration
A penguin from the Shedd Aquarium visited Guaranteed Rate Field on Sunday as part of Earth Day festivities. The White Sox joined the Aquarium's "Shedd the Straw" initiative to reduce the use of single-use plastic straws at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Video: HOU@CWS: Penguin from Shedd Aquarium visits ballpark

As of Sunday, the White Sox became the first team in Major League Baseball to serve drinks during games without an accompanying plastic straw for nearly an entire season. Shedd experts were at tables on the concourse to share more information about the efforts.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Chicago White Sox, Micker Adolfo