SEATTLE -- The plan was for Adam Eaton to work his way into Thursday night's lineup at Safeco Field, even after leaving Wednesday's loss in the second inning with a bruised lower back, an injury sustained in a collision with a post on the wall in right-center at U.S. Cellular Field.
But manager Robin Ventura wasn't following the same plan, resting Eaton and putting Leury Garcia in center and at the leadoff spot.
Ventura equated the aftereffects of Eaton's collision with that of a car accident, although Eaton felt good enough to go.
"Tonight is not going to happen for him," said Ventura. "But we'll re-evaluate him tomorrow. He always wants to play, no matter what."
Eaton has played with reckless abandon pretty much since joining the White Sox: It's the kind of spirited energy that has served as a driving force for the team this season. But Eaton doesn't think Wednesday's collision was reckless, because he had such a good bead on what turned out to be Adam Rosales' two-run homer from the time it left the bat.
Head athletic trainer Herm Schneider made Eaton walk around during the four-hour flight from Chicago to Seattle and gave him a heat pack for his back.
The incident apparently put a scare into Eaton's wife, Katie, as much as it did the White Sox, their fans and Eaton himself.
"My wife got in last night, and I'm eating some food, and she's like, 'Can I touch you? Are you all right? You going to be all right?'" said a smiling Eaton. "As soon as it happened, I was making sure all my body parts still worked. Catching my breath. I was more in shock than anything.
"Afterward, I was pretty sore. Got a good night's rest. This morning, Herm texted my wife and said, 'Make sure he's walking around the market down there and staying loose.' I walked a couple miles, felt good coming in today and told Robin I could play, but it's his decision, and probably for the better."
A recent X-ray showed that the middle finger of Eaton's right hand remains broken, but he has dealt with the injury to the tune of a .444 average in his last 13 games. He joins Jose Abreu, Miguel Cabrera and Josh Donaldson as the only American Leaguers with multiple on-base streaks of 20-plus games this season.