GLENDALE, Ariz. — New White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal says his calf is nothing to worry about.
“It feels fine,” Grandal said after catching Dylan Cease on the first day of spring training Wednesday. “It was about a week today, working out, we were doing some sort of assistant training running-wise. And I just had a minor strain on the calf. We’re taking precautions.”
Grandal’s left calf strain was one of three injuries announced by general manager Rick Hahn after the workout. It caught onlookers by surprise — Grandal had just finished a day’s work, although he didn’t do much around the batting cage.
“What I actually wanted was not to run in spring training,” he deadpanned. “I planned that well.”
Hahn said Grandal won’t play in the first week of Cactus League games, which begin in nine days. Had this occurred during the regular season, Grandal could have played through it, Hahn said.
“As you can see, I caught today and was fine,” Grandal said. “We’re going to take it day by day. We don’t need to rush now. We’re not really worry about spring training as much as the season. We’re going to be ready for the season and we’ll go from there.”
Grandal has been a case study in preparation since the Sox signed him to a club record four-year, $73 million deal in the offseason. Learning what he’s working with on the pitching staff was his top priority.
“We’re as strong as our weakest link, right?” Grandal said. “I feel like we need to make everybody better, it doesn’t matter if you’re a reliever or a position player. I’m going to do my homework on everybody and make sure everybody is on the same page and then we’ll go from there. We’ll make adjustments as the year goes on. So the quicker we can do it, the better.”
The optimism around the Sox, who view themselves as contenders after going 72-89 last season, is apparent.
“That kind of goes with the last question, everybody is excited,” Grandal said. “And when you’re excited, the energy is going to be up. We have pretty high expectations to what we want to do and what the season should be, but like I said, it’s a long season. Many things are going to happen. Every team goes through it, we’re going to have ups and downs. But it’s how fast we can get up from the down to get us where we need to be.”
Grandal said Cease, who will make his first Opening Day roster, is “making huge strides.”
“He’s worked on some things,” Grandal said. “If he keeps it going, he should have a pretty decent year.”