MINNEAPOLIS — It never ends.
Switch-hitting catcher Yasmani Grandal has a torn tendon in his left knee, the latest in an ongoing string of injuries plaguing the White Sox this season. The Sox said Tuesday that Grandal will miss roughly four to six weeks.
Catcher Seby Zavala was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte to back up Zack Collins, who will take on the bulk of catching duties.
Grandal, 32, left during his at-bat in the sixth inning against the Twins on Monday in a game the Sox eventually lost 8-5. Batting right-handed, he spun from the batter’s box after checking his swing, fell to the ground and was in crutches after the game.
Some believed Grandal, despite a batting average below .200, was worthy of making the All-Star team. He’s hitting .188/.388/.436 with 60 walks, an .824 OPS and 14 home runs in 63 games. He’s also the Sox’ highest-paid player, currently in the second year of a four-year, $73 million contract.
Grandal joins outfielders Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez and second baseman Nick Madrigal as players who were expected to be among the Sox’ starting nine coming out of spring training but are now on the injured list. Relievers Evan Marshall and Aaron Bummer and infielder/outfielder Jake Lamb are also on the IL. Right fielder Adam Eaton, shortstop Tim Anderson and right-handers Lance Lynn and Michael Kopech also had IL stints this season. And third baseman Yoan Moncada and first baseman Jose Abreu also have missed time because of injuries.
Through it all, the Sox entered Tuesday at 49-35, six games ahead of the Indians in the American League Central.
“It’s only as difficult as you allow it to be,” manager Tony La Russa said. “We control our minds and our hearts. If we want to
act frustrated and discouraged and that we’ve been unlucky, then we’re going to lose an edge.”
La Russa didn’t dismiss the possibility of the Sox acquiring a veteran catcher but spoke well of 27-year-old Zavala’s pitch-calling and his handling of pitchers. Zavala, who’s slated to catch Lynn in the series finale against the Twins on Wednesday, was batting .178 (21-for-118) with five home runs for Charlotte. He made his major-league debut with the Sox in 2019, going 1-for-12 in five games.
Grandal missed two games because of soreness in his left calf during a game Friday in Detroit but said Saturday he was well enough to catch. When he came out of Monday’s game, the Sox initially announced that he strained his calf.
“I just think it was the twist he made as he made his swing,” La Russa said. “Something got caught. It didn’t free up. You make a turn on it, and it got caught and something popped.”
Rest for TA
Anderson got Tuesday night off to refresh, La Russa said.
“If you watch him, a little less pep in his step, and that’s only because his gas tank’s getting a little [empty],” La Russa said. “You’ve got to take care, preserve these guys.”
Bummer, who threw a bullpen Tuesday, is eligible to come off the IL this weekend.
All-Star Lynn, Wednesday’s starter, on playing on the South Side: “Living in the suburbs of [the] Indianapolis area, the South Side has a tendency to be a little bit more of a home feeling for me than any other place I’ve played. I’m really enjoying it.”