Charlie Tilson Seeks An Injury-Free 2018
Injuries are a part of the game, and no player is immune.
Still, outfielder Charlie Tilson has to be scratching his head over his numbing run of bad luck with good health.
Acquired by the White Sox in a trade from the Cardinals on July 31, 2016, Tilson made his big league debut with Chicago two days later and tore his left hamstring.
That ended the season for Tilson, a 2011 second-round pick by St. Louis from New Trier High, the same surburban Chicago program as White Sox general manager Rick Hahn.
Recovered heading into spring training in 2017, Tilson never made it on the field after being diagnosed with a stress fracture in his right foot.
After nearly five months spent recovering from the foot injury, the 24-year-old center fielder was diagnosed with a fractured right ankle in late June.
It was a lost season for Tilson, but he was finally able to suit up and play in instructional league.
"It's baseball," Tilson said. "You spend so much time in the (batting) cage, but it's tough to really simulate in-game competition. Laying off a couple of pitches, fouling a couple of pitches off, getting down two strikes, those type of things bring back familiar feelings you haven't been in touch with for a while."
Tilson and the White Sox are hoping the injury bug is done biting but ankle surgery remains a possibility.
"That's kind of part of my assignment out here, and I would describe it as a test," Tilson said. "There's always surgical possibilities, but I'm just trying to take it a day at a time and keep doing the things that are working for me."
Since he went down in spring training with the foot fracture, Tilson has fallen on Chicago's depth chart.
Adam Engel finished the season as the starter in center field, and Leury Garcia and Jacob May could also push for playing time in 2018. Luis Robert, scheduled to open next season at one of the Class A affiliates, is the organization's center fielder of the future.
• The White Sox outrighted catcher Rob Brantly, righthanders Brad Goldberg and Chris Volstad, lefthander David Holmberg and outfielder Rymer Liriano to Triple-A Charlotte. Goldberg, a reliever, remains with the organization. The others are minor league free agents.
• Top outfield prospect Eloy Jimenez is playing winter ball in his native Dominican Republic, and he homered in his first game with Cibao.