Back in February White Sox prospect Jake Burger tore his left Achilles tendon running out a ground ball against Oakland in a spring training game. It was a tough blow for Burger, who was the Sox’ first round draft pick last year. Though he was not expected to make his big league debut this season, he is projected to be White Sox’ future third baseman. The February injury meant that he was going to miss the entire 2018 season.
Now it’s possible that the timetable will be pushed back even more than it had been in the first place: Burger has torn his Achilles again, this time by merely walking around in his back yard. Which, my God, that has to be dispiriting.
Burger only has 51 pro games under his belt, all in 2017. Now he’s going to have to do all he can to get action in 2019. Tough break.
The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.
In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.
The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.