Andrew Benintendi’s wrist discomfort predates time with White Sox

“He’s been playing through pain the first half, so it’s time for him to get a break,” said Sox manager Pedro Grifol, who thinks the issue has inhibited Benintendi’s power.

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The White Sox are optimistic that Andrew Benintendi can drive the ball more than his .369 slugging percentage in the first half would indicate.

The White Sox are optimistic that Andrew Benintendi can drive the ball more than his .369 slugging percentage in the first half would indicate.

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

A sore right wrist kept left fielder Andrew Benintendi out of the White Sox’ lineup for the last two games before the All-Star break. But the discomfort in his wrist dates beyond getting hit by a pitch last month in Los Angeles to some issues last season, manager Pedro Grifol said.

‘‘He’s been playing through pain the first half, so it’s time for him to get a break,’’ said Grifol, who thinks the issue has inhibited Benintendi’s power. ‘‘He’ll tell you he’s not a 40-home-run guy, but he’s definitely not a one-home-run guy, either. He’s got some pop in there.’’

Grifol is optimistic Benintendi can drive the ball better than one homer and a .369 slugging percentage would indicate, but he declined to get into specifics about what, if anything, was done to alleviate the discomfort in Benintendi’s wrist.

‘‘We’re addressing the wrist,’’ Grifol said. ‘‘I’m not going to get into that part of it, how we’re fixing it. But let’s just say we’re addressing the issue.’’

Sheets searching for rhythm

Sunday closed a disappointing first half for first baseman/outfielder/designated hitter Gavin Sheets, who has homered only once since Memorial Day.

Expected to give the Sox’ lineup some left-handed power, Sheets reached the break with a .220/.298/.374 batting line in 205 plate appearances.

‘‘Still not where I want to be,’’ Sheets said. ‘‘It’s been tough to get in a good rhythm. I feel I put good stretches together and don’t get in there or face a string of lefties and lose the good feelings I have at the plate.’’

By his own admission, Sheets has struggled with life as a strict platoon player without an everyday role. And with the recent recall of outfielder Oscar Colas, he has more competition now for playing time in right field against right-handed starters.

Sheets has only seven at-bats against lefties this season, and his lifetime numbers against them support such usage. But improvement of any kind has been difficult to find merely through simulated at-bats on the iPitch machine.

‘‘In my opinion, I need to face lefties to stay sharp against righties,’’ Sheets said. ‘‘Still trying to figure out how to do that better, whether it’s continuing to do at-bats in the cage to try to keep the feeling going. That’s something I need to work on.’’

As TA scuffles, so do Sox

A miserable first half for the Sox ended with shortstop Tim Anderson striking out swinging to strand the tying run at third base in the 10th inning of a 4-3 loss to the Cardinals. That capped an 0-for-5 day and 1-for-14 series.

All told, Anderson’s .223/.259/.263 batting line makes for the worst OPS for any half of a season in his eight-year career. Notably, he has hit .207/.245/.233 in 56 games since returning from a sprained left knee in May.

‘‘It’s tough, especially because he’s never been through this,’’ teammate Elvis Andrus said. ‘‘I don’t think I’ve seen him like this. Throughout his career, you get used to the .320, .330 every year. But it’s part of the game. He’s a human, too. And he’s learning. He’s probably very disappointed, but I still believe in him.’’

Sox draft Ole Miss shortstop

The Sox chose Mississippi shortstop Jacob Gonzalez with the 15th pick in the first round of the MLB Draft. Gonzalez (6-2, 200 pounds) was the national freshman of the year in 2021 and helped the Rebels win their first College World Series title in 2022. He also was the U.S. collegiate national team’s starting shortstop the last two summers.

Gonzalez’s numbers have dipped slightly since his freshman year, but proven, left-handed-hitting college shortstops are highly coveted.

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