There are those who would like to see White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal be a little less selective and be a more aggressive run-producer but asking Grandal to change his approach would be a waste of time.
Grandal, who owns an odd .113/.378/.242 hitting line after going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and a walk Sunday, said he won’t expand his strike zone. He’s proud of the on-base percentage, beefed up by an American League-high 27 walks including 14 in his last five games. His 13 walks in a four-game span through Saturday put him in classy company with Babe Ruth and Bryce Harper as the only three players in the modern era to do so.
“Well, my numbers haven’t changed,” Grandal said. “I don’t know if you guys did homework when I first signed here [for $73 million], but it seems to be right on point.”
A switch hitter who owned a .238/.349/.441 slash line before Sunday, believes he is making good contact but hitting balls right at people, and that pitchers are “dotting” pitches, or hitting their spots with pinpoint accuracy, to him.
“I’m done swinging at pitches that they want me to swing at,” he said. “If you make a mistake, I want to crush you. If you don’t, then I’m going to walk.”
Grandal has eight hits — two homers, two doubles and four singles, but that didn’t sway manager Tony La Russa from moving him up to fifth behind Jose Abreu and ahead of designated hitter Yermin Mercedes against Royals lefty Mike Minor.
La Russa felt that slot could “get his bat into play.”
Grandal said it will when he gets pitches to hit.
“Those are not pitches I can do damage with,” he said. “I’m going to take care of my pitching staff, I’m going to hit for power and I’m going to get on base.”
Frustrated Giolito still searching
Lucas Giolito allowed one run in five innings but wasn’t thrilled and is still searching to find what made him the Sox’ best starter the last two seasons. His 4.54 ERA is the highest among Sox starters, who own a major-league-best 2.66 ERA.
“It’s frustrating because I feel like the work I’ve been putting in is extremely focused and we’ve made a lot of steps forward,” Giolito said. “Unfortunately it just didn’t show up in the game today. It was just grind time. Make pitches, get outs and just keep going until I’m done for the day and that’s all I was able to do.”
Sox starters (Giolito, Dallas Keuchel, Lance Lynn, Dylan Cease, Carlos Rodon, Michael Kopech) have allowed three runs or fewer in 28 of 32 games, tied with the Yankees for most in the American League. They have posted 10 scoreless starts.
This and that
After a day off Monday, the third in a span of eight days, Cease (Tuesday), Keuchel (Wednesday) and Rodon (Thursday) will start against the Twins at Guaranteed Rate Field.
— Kopech will be La Russa’s “No. 1 consideration” to start one of the games Friday in a doubleheader against the Royals.