The Chicago White Sox took a chance on Shane Drohan, plucking the left-hander from the Boston Red Sox farm system with the fourth pick in the most recent MLB Rule 5 Draft.

He’ll need to overcome an injury to make an impact for the South Siders, though, as White Sox manager Pedro Grifol told reporters Thursday that Drohan underwent nerve decompression surgery on his throwing shoulder.

According to Grifol, Drohan could start a throwing program at the end of spring training. But the 25-year-old figures to begin the 2024 season on the injured list, casting more uncertainty over his future in Chicago.

Per Rule 5 rules, Drohan needs to spend the entire season on the White Sox’s major league roster and/or injured list — with 90 days on the active roster — or else be offered back to the Red Sox, the team that selected him in the fifth round of the pandemic-condensed 2020 MLB Draft.

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He’s yet to throw a pitch in the majors, working his way to Triple-A Worcester in 2023 after starting the season with Double-A Portland. But the White Sox clearly saw something in the young southpaw, who at one point last year looked like the Red Sox’s best pitching prospect.

Drohan’s 2023 started with sizzle, as he dominated at Double-A, posting a 5-0 record and a 1.32 ERA in six starts (34 innings). Unfortunately for him and the Red Sox, that success didn’t carry over to Triple-A, where Drohan went 5-7 with a 6.47 ERA in 21 appearances (19 starts; 89 innings).

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Still, Drohan obviously has upside, especially when you consider his minor-league success before 2023. So, it’ll be interesting to see how 2024 shakes out after he recovers from his recent procedure.

Featured image via Photo/Worcester Red Sox/Ashley Green via USA TODAY Sports Images