Madrigal underwent surgery to repair a hamstring injury.
Nick Madrigal underwent successful surgery today to repair the proximal tendon tears in his right hamstring. The procedure was performed by Drs. Nik Verma and Shane Nho at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) June 15, 2021
The news was a devastating blow to a White Sox club that has legitimate playoff and World Series aspirations.
Madrigal had been a key piece of Chicago’s lineup all year long, batting .305 with a .774 OPS and a 117 OPS+.
Fortunately, Madrigal is expected to make a full recovery and return in time for spring training in 2022, but for White Sox fans, the current focus is the 2021 season.
Now that Madrigal is gone, which two players need to step up and fill the void?
2. Adam Eaton
It feels like Adam Eaton has never been able to permanently get his footing at the MLB level.
He has never finished a full season with an OPS over .800, he has never been named an All-Star, and he has always had a hard time staying healthy.
To be fair, he has had some decent seasons hitting for average, but not lately.
Eaton is a career .278 hitter with a .768 OPS, but in 2021, he’s batting just .195 with a .641 OPS.
He wasn’t much better in 2020, when he batted .226 with a .669 OPS.
The White Sox aren’t expecting Eaton to produce at a ridiculously high level, but they aren’t going to be able to live with his current numbers for much longer now that Madrigal is done for the season.
The team is going to need Eaton to lock in and find a way to be anything other than a net negative.
1. Jose Abreu
Jose Abreu has had a slightly underwhelming 2021 season so far, but that needs to end now.
The 34-year-old has had some outstanding seasons throughout his eight-year career.
He is a three-time All-Star who has both an MVP award and a Rookie of the Year award to his name.
But in 2021, he is batting just .253 with a .787 OPS.
Abreu is a player who has led the league in runs batted in twice (2019, 2020), slugging twice (2014, 2020), total bases twice (2017, 2020), and hits once (2020).
It’s no secret what he is capable of.
On the optimistic side, he is on a tear lately.
Since May 9, Abreu is batting .296 with an OPS of .865.
Jose Abreu with one of the quickest bat to seats homers you’re gonna see this week. pic.twitter.com/NRTmea5VaJ
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) June 16, 2021
He has five home runs, eight doubles, and a triple over the 31-game span.
That’s the Abreu the White Sox are going to need to see more of from here on out.
Hopefully, he will be able to sustain the recent success for the remainder of the year.
While the loss of Madrigal is devastating, the White Sox are one of the few teams in the league capable of overcoming such a tough blow.
Chicago’s lineup is very well-balanced, and there is a lot of depth to work with, too.
The White Sox currently lead the Cleveland Indians by 4.5 games for the top spot in the American League Central.
The team will open a four-game set with the Houston Astros on the road Thursday night with Dylan Cease expected to get the start.