The Jake Burger trade isn’t going how Kenny Williams had planned when he went over Rick Hahn’s head to make a deal with the Marlins. The deal sent the fan favorite to Miami in exchange for left-handed pitching prospect Jake Eder. On Sunday the White Sox announced that Eder was sent to the White Sox pitchers and catchers camp in Arizona.
It is a trade that will be talked about for a long time. Since the move, Burger has been on a tear, slashing .295/.349/.500 with six home runs and 17 RBIs.
Since joining the White Sox organization Jake Eder has struggled. In five starts with the Birmingham Barons in Double-A, Eder has gotten lit up to the tune of an 11.24 ERA. In those five starts, he has only pitched 17.1 innings and opponents are batting .360 off of him. To add insult to injury his WHIP has increased from 1.28 while he was with the Marlins Double-A affiliate to 2.42 since joining the Barons.
The struggles prompted Chris Getz to send him to pitchers and catchers camp in Arizona.
“It allows us to run him through our lab for the first time and gain a better understanding of how his body is moving and help with some adjustments prior to the Arizona Fall League,” Getz said.
Eder has been thrown into a difficult situation. The 24-year-old southpaw underwent Tommy John surgery in 2021. He returned this season only to suffer a stress fracture in his foot during Minor League Spring Training which set him back until June.
Shaking off the rust was hard enough but now Eder has been thrust into a trade that has put a tremendous amount of pressure on him. The White Sox starting rotation is thin. As the organization’s No. 5 prospect, Eder is a guy they are relying heavily on to fill the void.
If that wasn’t enough, the majority of the fan base was opposed to trading Jake Burger in the first place so Eder has the added pressure of trying to justify the White Sox gamble.
Perhaps some time in Arizona honing in on his mechanics will be good for him. Eder has stuff. It’s the reason he was once considered the best pitching prospect in baseball by some scouts a few years back. His fastball can touch 98 mph while his slider is graded as a 60 by scouts on a 20-80 scale. He also has a low 80s changeup that has some movement.
But after being off the mound for an extended period of time rehabbing some of his mechanics have gone awry. He already has a history of inconsistent command in college.
If Eder can polish his stuff and rediscover his control he has the potential to be a number three starter in the MLB. The problem is he has a lot of work to do before he can get to that point and it is becoming increasingly likely he is not ready for the big leagues by next season despite the fact that MLB.com has his estimated arrival time as 2024.