The AL Central leading Chicago White Sox have lost another key player to injury. On Thursday, the White Sox announced catcher Yasmani Grandal will miss 4-6 weeks with a torn tendon in his left knee. Catcher Seby Zavala was called up in a corresponding move.
"He got a lot of big hits for us. Somebody else has to get them now," White Sox manager Tony La Russa told reporters, including Scot Gregor of the Daily Herald, about Grandal's injury.
Grandal suffered the injury Monday night and it was an unusual scene. He checked his swing, hopped around unable to put weight on his left leg, then crumbled to the ground in pain. Here's the video:
In 63 games this season Grandal owns a .188/.388/.436 batting line with 14 home runs and nearly as many walks (60) as strikeouts (64). The sub-.200 batting average is an eyesore, though Grandal is getting on base a ton and hitting for power.
Furthermore, Grandal ranks among the game's better pitch-framers this season and has throughout his career, so Chicago's pitching staff will miss him. Backup Zack Collins is hitting .225/.321/.375 in limited action and rates as a poor defender.
The 4-6 week timetable suggests Grandal will return in mid-to-late August and in plenty of time for the postseason. The ChiSox come into Tuesday with a six-game division lead, so they could stick with Collins and Zavala, and ride out Grandal's injury.
If the White Sox turn to the trade market, rentals like Kurt Suzuki (Angels) and Yan Gomes (Nationals) figure to appeal more than catchers with control beyond 2021. Grandal is signed through 2023 and Collins is under team control long-term.
Chicago is already without Eloy Jiménez (torn pectoral), Luis Robert (torn hip labrum), and Nick Madrigal (torn hamstring). Jiménez and Robert recently started baseball activities, but are a few weeks away from rejoining the team. Madrigal is done for the year.
At 49-35, the White Sox have the third best record in the American League. Their plus-91 run differential is behind only the Houston Astros (plus-137) in the so-called Junior Circuit.