For the White Sox lineup, it’s about taking walks when they’re there for the taking, being aggressive when pitches are there to be hit and not expanding the strike zone.
It’s not that complicated, hitting coach Frank Menechino said.
“Are they hitting the pitches they’re supposed to hit? Are they chasing out of the zone? That’s basically the product of scoring runs and getting on base.”
Menechino spoke before the Sox played the Blue Jays in the last game of four-game series in Toronto. The Sox had scored zero, one, five and one runs in their previous four games. Hitters trying to do too much could be a factor, Menechino said.
“We haven’t been hitting the pitches we’re supposed to hit, we’ve been chasing out of the zone,” Menechino said. “When we’re hitting good, we’re hitting strikes, we’re not chasing out of the zone and we’re taking our walks.”
Catcher Yasmani Grandal is expected back as soon as this weekend to face the Cubs. Grandal is a walk machine who hits the ball hard when it’s in the strike zone, so he should set a good example. With Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert back from injuries this month, it will mark the first time the Sox will essentially be at full strength.
“One or two guys make that pitcher work and all of the sudden the pitcher gets into a funk, absolutely, it will definitely help,” Menechino said.
But it doesn’t guarantee anything. Only if they execute.
“I guess we’ll have to wait and see, see how that shapes out,” Menechino said. “People think just because you get everyone back in the lineup at the same time it’s going to be magic.”
Grandal in town for Crosstown
Grandal will probably be back for the series against the Cubs after having knee surgery in early July, and with off three off days in an eight-day stretch after the series, La Russa said he can probably catch two of three games. Grandal would be an option at designated hitter when he doesn’t catch.
“The answer is just to really, at the end of the day, see how much work he had to put in, block a lot of balls, get on base a lot, see how he comes back the next day,” La Russa said.
La Russa said the Sox won’t keep three catchers, which means Zack Collins or Seby Zavala will be optioned to Charlotte.
This and that
Right-hander Evan Marshall (elbow) began his minor league rehab stint with Triple-A Charlotte.
*Adam Engel (left shoulder inflammation) has made some progress the last two days with the different workouts [but] I did not see in the report that he’s close to being able to go out and play,” La Russa said.
Yoan Moncada tweaked something in his wrist during an at-bat Wednesday night and checked out fine. His day off Thursday was planned, La Russa said.