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On Tuesday morning, I wrote about the White Sox placing Yoán Moncada on the injured list in the most begrudging fashion possible, even though Moncada needed a five-hit game to upgrade his numbers from abysmal to terrible. It’d be one thing if Moncada were the lineup’s only laggard, but pairing Moncada’s vision quest with Yasmani Grandal’s own daily struggle for weeks multiplied the effects.
James Fegan produced something resembling a counterpoint, although you have to set aside the fact that it was published before my post, and that Fegan merely relays what the White Sox’s stance is without endorsing it himself.
He opens with Luis Robert struggling to rediscover his contact points after his COVID-19 interruption in June, and uses Robert’s resurgence to show what the White Sox would rather not lose by shelving Moncada after a five-hit game. But even then, it’s hard to set aside the toll of the toil.
General manager Rick Hahn praised the work of the White Sox medical and training staff this season, celebrating its most recent accomplishment of returning Tim Anderson to action in exactly the projected three weeks, and he also explained that the rash of injuries is not guaranteed to get better any time soon. The difficulty of explaining this nuance says a lot about why executives rarely attempt to do so. […]
Hahn rightly pointed out that the Sox are not even in the top 10 in MLB in games lost to injury this season. Though by Baseball Prospectus’s PECOTA projections, the Sox have lost the second-most on-field production to injuries, which is not accounting for players just looking off for a while as they come back.
All of the compromised performances from compromised physical states are helpful in one sense, in that they make it easier to appreciate how well Tim Anderson and José Abreu play around and through pain
Neither are 100 percent by the way they’re moving. You could see it in the 6-2-3 double play Anderson grounded into that killed the 10th inning …
… and you could see it on Abreu’s face as he rounded third and came home to score the winning run in Tuesday night’s whale of a mess of a winner.
Given that Abreu loped from first to second on Adam Engel’s two-out single in the eighth inning, I was a little surprised to see him open the inning as the Manfred Man representing the go-ahead run in the bottom of the 12th. Abreu’s steadfast stance over missing any time is why I was well short of shocked, but given that his biggest baserunning moments have required every step of his speed to beat the odds, I could easily see Abreu crumpling before, during or after a close play.
Leury García was theoretically available on the bench, and given the White Sox’s frequent use of the unofficial IL this season, it’s unclear whether he didn’t run for Abreu because La Russa didn’t see a point in losing his only reserve, or because García issue with his oblique made him unable to perform even limited duties. If it’s the latter, well, García hasn’t played since Friday and is carrying a .205 OBP. They should welcome every opportunity to replace him legitimately, because this kind of purgatory provides all of the detriments of the IL and none of the benefits.
For the sickos who couldn’t sleep out of anticipation for Doug Eddings’ ump scorecard, your wait is over. Now you can go to bed and wake up in time for dinner.
My biggest question was whether Eddings’ strike zone was … generous … enough to surpass Jeff Nelson’s April performance for the worst called strike performance this season (68 percent), and indeed, Eddings clocks in at four percentage points worse.