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updated: 4/10/2014 11:22 PM

Losing Avisail for season a bitter pill for Sox to swallow

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  • Avisail Garcia (26), who hit two home runs on Tuesday, is out of the season after injuring himself on Wednesday trying to make a diving catch. Garcia will have surgery on his left shoulder to repair a torn labrum.

      Avisail Garcia (26), who hit two home runs on Tuesday, is out of the season after injuring himself on Wednesday trying to make a diving catch. Garcia will have surgery on his left shoulder to repair a torn labrum.
    Associated Press

  • Avisail Garcia makes a diving catch on a drive to right by Colorado Rockies DJ LeMahieu during the fourth inning of a game Wednesday in Denver. Garcia will have surgery and miss the rest of his first season with the White Sox.

      Avisail Garcia makes a diving catch on a drive to right by Colorado Rockies DJ LeMahieu during the fourth inning of a game Wednesday in Denver. Garcia will have surgery and miss the rest of his first season with the White Sox.
    Associated Press

  • Chicago White Sox athletic trainer Herman Schneider, second from right, escorts Avisail Garcia (26) off the field after Garcia jammed his left shoulder on a diving catch Wednesday. The Sox lost the game, and now will lose Garcia for the rest of the season due to surgery on his left shoulder.

      Chicago White Sox athletic trainer Herman Schneider, second from right, escorts Avisail Garcia (26) off the field after Garcia jammed his left shoulder on a diving catch Wednesday. The Sox lost the game, and now will lose Garcia for the rest of the season due to surgery on his left shoulder.
    Associated Press

  • White Sox left fielder Adam Eaton (1) and right fielder Avisail Garcia (26) celebrate following a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, April 6, 2014. The White Sox won 5-1.

      White Sox left fielder Adam Eaton (1) and right fielder Avisail Garcia (26) celebrate following a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, April 6, 2014. The White Sox won 5-1.
    Associated Press

  • Video: Repairing a torn labrum

 
 

Center fielder Adam Eaton deserves consideration, as does starting pitcher Jose Quintana.

But when it comes to the best players on the White Sox this season, my Top 3 list is pretty clear cut -- starter Chris Sale, first baseman Jose Abreu and right fielder Avisail Garcia.

The list has been updated.

Garcia, who possesses a rare blend of size, power and speed, injured his left shoulder diving for a sinking line drive Wednesday at Colorado.

While initial X-rays were negative, an MRI taken at Rush University Medical Center on Thursday morning revealed a torn labrum. Garcia, 22, will have season-ending surgery next week.

His loss is a staggering blow to a Sox team looking to bounce back from a 99-loss season with a roster steeped in promising young talent.

"Obviously, it's lousy," general manager Rick Hahn said. "It stings for the kid, who is crushed right now, who is very disappointed. He was hoping this was going to be a temporary thing but obviously understands the medical situation and the realities in front of us. He's taking it very hard.

"It stinks for White Sox fans who are going to be deprived of the opportunity of seeing this kid on a daily basis this year. It's really just one of the crueler realties of sports and the business we're in."

Garcia, who hit 2 home runs in Tuesday night's 15-3 win over the Rockies, is expected to be 100 percent when he reports to spring training next year.

In the interim, Dayan Viciedo gets the first crack at replacing Garcia in right field. Jordan Danks was called up from Class AAA Charlotte to take the injured outfielder's roster spot.

"It does provide some opportunity," Hahn said. "We get a chance to see if Dayan Viciedo, at age 25, can make the improvements that he's shown signs of making already. He's going to have the opportunity to play on a more regular basis in all probability and perhaps entrench himself as part of this new long-term core we're trying to put together.

"Obviously Jordan Danks, who had a fantastic spring, gets an opportunity to come back up here and contribute at the big-league level and show what he's capable of and hopefully play himself into that long-term picture. The one thing, even in our disappointment, is the fact Avi remains with us for the next five seasons. This kid still has a very bright future."

Viciedo was platooning with Alejandro De Aza in left field before Garcia went down. He got the start in right against the Indians on Thursday night and is looking forward to making the most of what is likely his last chance with the Sox.

Throughout spring training and into the regular season, Viciedo has been working with new hitting coach Todd Steverson on swinging at strikes and laying off pitches out of the zone.

"That's the plan, to work on that, a lot of strike zone discipline," Viciedo said through an interpreter. "But more important than that is staying more consistent with the plan and staying with your routine every day. We'll do our best to stay with that, and it's very important to have a lot of confidence in myself."

Viciedo was not at all happy about cracking the starting lineup because of a serious injury to Garcia, and Danks expressed similar remorse after arriving from the minor leagues.

All in all, the pregame mood was gloomy on the South Side, but the White Sox still have 152 games to play.

"It's tough because (Garcia) is a big piece of the puzzle," Eaton said. "But I've always said you need 30 guys-plus to have a successful season. We'll take deep breath and keep moving forward."

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