Thome pulled with hamstring injury
White Sox slugger's ailment not suspected to be serious
DETROIT -- Ozzie Guillen characterized Jim Thome's injury, suffered in the second inning of Wednesday's 7-5 victory over Detroit, as somewhere between a cramp and a little bit of a strain.
Judging by Thome's comments and the pain he seemed to experience as he got dressed following the victory, the powerful designated hitter certainly won't be taking part in Thursday afternoon's series finale at Comerica Park.
"The way I feel now, probably not," said Thome, who suffered a strained left hamstring while rounding first on a second-inning double to left-center. "I don't know what's going on with this thing.
"We will think the best and re-evaluate it tomorrow and do the best we can here to get back. [White Sox athletic trainer Herm Schneider] does a tremendous job at getting guys back in there."
Thome drew a walk off Detroit rookie Zach Miner and scored on Jermaine Dye's three-run home run in the first inning Wednesday. In his second at-bat, with runners on first and third, Thome laced a ground-rule double off left-handed reliever Wilfredo Ledezma, scoring Rob Mackowiak with the team's fifth run of the night.
As he came around first base and looked toward the ball rolling in the gap, Thome appeared to grab at his left groin area -- although it turned out to be a hamstring problem. After Guillen and Schneider came to check on him, Thome exited the game immediately.
This particular pain felt, at first, like a cramp. But Thome didn't really believe a cramp was the problem, with the pain still there a few hours later.
"I don't think it's a cramp. It usually goes away," Thome said. "I would say it's a little bit of a strain in there, without knowing.
"There's so much work I do to prepare [before each game], and Hermie said things happen and you don't know why it happens. I've never had a hamstring injury, but when you pull a hammie, you are usually going all out. But I wasn't. I hit first base and when I turned, that's when it got me."
With Wednesday's performance, Thome has a .294 average with 36 home runs and 91 RBIs. He also has participated in 116 of the team's 126 games, missing contests due to maladies such as groin tightness, back spasms and tendinitis in his right wrist -- although he has never made a trip to the disabled list.
It's still unknown whether Thome's injury will mean an absence of two or three games, or something more prolonged. In fact, an injury to the hamstring often presents a clearer diagnosis the day after. Whatever the final decision, the White Sox understand a big offensive void suddenly could have been created through Thome's injury.
Minnesota's arrival in Chicago this weekend doesn't exactly signal the most opportune time for Thome's absence.
"He's got 35 or 36 home runs and a lot of RBIs, so he won't be a guy we can replace," said White Sox third baseman Joe Crede. "That's the game of baseball. You have to deal with adversity and go out there and win with what we have."
"Go day by day and see how he reacts," Guillen added of Thome. "It's not a big deal. That's the news we have right now."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.