By Bruce Levine
(CBS) — The White Sox reinstated outfielder Adam Eaton from the disabled list Tuesday. Eaton returns to a team that has fallen on hard times since he went down with an oblique strain on Aug. 9. The 3-9 record for the team since Eaton was hurt goes hand and hand with the lack of run production in August.
“I am very happy to be back,” said Eaton, who is one of three Sox hitters batting over .300 this season. “It was a long 16 days, and it is good to be back in the lineup.”
Eaton has been cursed with minor injuries all season. Some of the injuries appear to be self-inflicted. Eaton consistently ignores warning signs such as walls and concrete. His latest oblique problem was related to a head-on collision that he had with a fence at U.S Cellular Field on Aug. 5.
“Every day you learn something about yourself,” Eaton said. “You have to fail to succeed in this game. The more failure you have the better you are going to be for it. I continue to learn stuff good and bad, and I think it will only make me better moving forward.”
The young center fielder was missed just as much on defense as he was leading off in the batting order. Eaton has even surprised White Sox brass with his outstanding range and above-average throwing. Now, they want him to stay healthy.
“I have to think about risk verses reward,” he said. “In some cases it is and in some cases not. I have to be able to decide that in a very quick way in my mind. It needs to be better and it will be.”
Eaton understands that some teammates like Gordon Beckham, who was moved to the Angels, may not be around next season when Chicago begins spring training.
“It was sad day when Beck was traded,” he said. “Our friendship grew close. This is a business and that side of it that (is bad ) and there may be more things like that. That is all a part of the game. Old friends leave, new ones come in and you just welcome them with open arms.”
The White Sox will have five to eight call-ups in September. Eaton saw some of the players that will be coming up in action while he was rehabbing at Triple-A this last weekend.
“To be honest with you, I really had a good time down there with those guys,” Eaton said. “I don’t know if the fans follow it closely or not, but they have a really good team down there. The record does not show the quality of baseball they are playing down there. (Josh Phegley, Jared Mitchell and Andy Wilkins) are all playing well down there. Sox fans will be excited about them.”