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Through peaks and valleys, family keeps White Sox’ Jake Burger grounded


NEW YORK – Jake Burger has experienced the highs of being a first-round draft pick by the White Sox, the lows of awful Achilles and heel injuries and even lower lows of bouts with depression.

He also knows what it’s like to come back physically after wondering if he’d ever play again. He has found the other, much better side of mental health.

Seven months ago he became a father for the first time. And now, with the first inklings of who might be worthy from the White Sox to be an All-Star in July, Burger’s name is coming up.

“It’s special,” Burger said at Yankee Stadium Tuesday, a smile from ear to ear. “It’s really cool to see my name on there. Like I always say, the job’s not done until I’m in it. After that it’s not done until you win a World Series. I’m just taking it day by day and it’s an awesome accolade, to get that credit. But I’ve got to keep up the results and keep playing the game.”

Burger is a third baseman who also plays first and has dabbled at second base of late, but he’s getting most of his at-bats as a designated hitter. In manager Pedro Grifol’s scheme of things, Burger shares at-bats with the left-handed hitting outfielder-DH Gavin Sheets as Grifol keeps third baseman Yoan Moncada in the lineup with outfielder-DH Eloy Jimenez playing daily.

If Burger is frustrated by not playing every day despite owning a .265/.317/.606 batting line with a .923 OPS and 12 homers, he’s not showing it outwardly.

“It’s part of the game. We understand it,” he said. “We’re all competitive.”

Burger didn’t play in the first game of the Sox series against the Yankees Tuesday, a 3-2 win, but was slated to start Wednesday before that game was postponed due to conditions caused by Canadian wildfires affecting New York.

The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader Thursday. Win, lose or sit, Burger says his wife and family keep him grounded.

“They don’t let me get too high, they bring me down with that and don’t let me get too low and bring me up a bit,” he said. “There’s always the consistent balance of staying in the middle and not riding the lows or highs. But I feel good.”

Frazier: Return to New York

Outfielder Clint Frazier, released by the Yankees after the 2021 season after much fanfare and high expectations, was surrounded by 15 or more reporters when he returned to New York Tuesday.

With the Sox, Frazier is trying to revive his career with the Sox. With concussion symptoms in the past, he likes his chances of returning to the 2019 form that raised his bar before he struggled.

“I really did struggle with concussions,’’ Frazier said. “You look at what kind of player I was and then once I sustained those, what happened.”

Frazier said he’s 17 pounds lighter and faster than when he was a Yankee, most recently a year ago when the Cubs designated him for assignment before a game on June 10 in New York.

Frazier is trying to make an impact with the Sox as a role player.

“Sometimes teams ask different things of players,” Frazier said. “I’m running faster than I’ve ever ran in my career, so now I’m like a speed guy. Subbing guys in the ninth inning, I was the guy getting replaced, now I’m defensive replacing people. It’s interesting how things change and how roles definitely get created.”


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