Pregame Notes: Pedro Grifol stays the course

White Sox batting practice at Guaranteed Rate Field
(James Fegan / Sox Machine)

Andrew Benintendi had three hits on Monday, but nevertheless has followed a very poor April with an ever worse month of May. The left fielder will turn 30 just before the All-Star break and is slashing .165/.212/.203 this month with 16 total bases.

While more typical Andrew Vaughn power production has come this month (.183 ISO), it’s still just a .204/.260/.387 line for him in May while playing a bat-centric position.

But after Tim Anderson stayed near the top of Pedro Grifol’s lineup last season despite career-worst numbers that he has made clear were affected by injury, something to watch this year was whether he would respond any differently to prolonged troubles from mainstays. Two poor months from Vaughn and Benintendi don’t sound like they are on the verge of provoking big changes, at least not ones driven by Grifol.

“You can get creative with some stuff but you also can’t overreact to a couple months of baseball,” Grifol said. “When you’ve done something for such a long time and you’ve done it consistently, two months of baseball, two months of facing adversity is not going to force me to overreact on anything. I’m not going to do that. I believe in these guys. I believe in their ability. I’ve seen what they can do on the field and I’m not going to overreact to 150, 160 at-bats.”

Grifol has said similar things about White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf as he said recently to the Chicago Sun-Times. And when asked to follow up on it on Wednesday, he reiterated similar themes.

“I feel fortunate that we work for an owner like Jerry. I just think he’s been in this game for whatever, 44, 45 years and he’s a baseball guy. I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to work for him and represent this uniform with them. I’m grateful to be here.”

Grifol declined to get into whether he and Reinsdorf discuss the team’s current results and whether the Sox owner is satisfied.

Tommy Pham is getting a day off, which is effectively two days off ahead of Thursday’s off day. Amid a  strong start (.294/.344/.429), Pham has been hitless in his last three games and certainly has shouldered a heavy workload.

“He’s played 19 in a row,” Grifol said. “The double off day is a really good thing for him. He’s played 19 in a row. Nicky Lopez has played nine in a row. Those are things that we monitor and just make sure that we don’t put these guys in the position where they can get hurt.”

The White Sox have their probable starters listed as Erick Fedde, Garrett Crochet and Nick Nastrini for this coming weekend set in Milwaukee. With an off day on Thursday and Monday, the Sox could find a way to give Crochet extended rest if they have a mind to, since they already plan to make him the last starter used out of the All-Star break.

But Mike Clevinger’s injury and the question of how much they want to use Jake Woodford as a starter clouds the picture somewhat.

“We’ll wait and see after the game, see how we get through this game here and see what we’ve got,” Grifol said. “We’ll have tonight to look at it, we’ll have tomorrow morning to dissect it and see where we’re at.”

First Pitch: White Sox at Blue Jays

TV: NBC Sports Chicago

Lineups:

Blue JaysWhite Sox
Davis Schneider, 2B1Corey Julks, LF
Daulton Varsho, LF2Nicky Lopez, 2B
Vladimir Guerrero, DH3Gavin Sheets, RF
Bo Bichette, SS4Andrew Vaughn, 1B
Justin Turner, 1B5Korey Lee, DH
George Springer, RF6Paul DeJong, SS
Alejandro Kirk, C7Dominic Fletcher, CF
Isiah Kiner-Falefa, 3B8Bryan Ramos, 3B
Kevin Kiermaier, CF9Martín Maldonado, C
Alek ManoahSPChris Flexen

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49 Comments
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HoytWilhelm

“He’s played 19 in a row” (about why he’s resting Pham). Ripken played 2,632 in a row.

upnorthsox

And nobody did it before or has done it since.

HoytWilhelm

Ah, that makes sense, thanks. By the same token, Maldonado needs a more extended blow.

Right Size Wrong Shape

Maldonado blows.

Adam

Nobody wants to win more than Jerry…

Martin Maldonado is 7 for 84 this year with 35 strikeouts.

He’s 71 of 77 ranked catchers defensively according to bp.

He’s catching for the 3rd time in 5 games.

77SouthsideHitmen

Yeah but come on Pedro the kiss ass can’t show up the brilliant GM who signed this turd. What would Jerry think? Grifol couldn’t manage a T Ball team!

Jonathan

It seems to me, based on the reporting I hear and read and then go back and listen again over the past few seasons or so, that Reinsdorf is involved a lot, if not the game-to-game decisions; he is most likely influencing coaches and staff more than the norm, almost like a helicopter owner. I really would be interested in the following up reporting and trying to get more details. If this is the case and Jerry has a lot of say and influence, then it seems to me that all that’s happening with this organization is just a rearranging of the furniture, over and over again.

Last edited 21 days ago by Jonathan
Alfornia Jones

hopefully JR told pedro to pull flexen after 4 IP. please don’t try to get him through the 5th again.

Yolmer

If JR watches every game, he has to see that this team has quit on Pedro. Leave Pedro in Chicago, FFS.

bob

honestly it’s not the worst strategy in the world, pitchers get hurt, i get it, IF YOU SPEND SAID AA ON THE REST OF THE POSITION PLAYERS

Adam

Looking at the blue jays hitters history vs Flexen….we’re gonna need some runs. By some I mean like 9

Foulkelore

In one game, or do the Sox get a week to accumulate that?

As Cirensica

They have scored 9 runs or more in a game only once this year.

Adam

Maybe Flexen will bring those Jays numbers down. Solid 1st. But it’s rare to see the matchup page look so frightening. I don’t know if anyone was under .400

Conversely nobody on our side has anything vs Manoah

Last edited 21 days ago by Adam
Adam

Fletchers night just got dimmer

Adam

If there’s one thing I’m sure of, it’s that John Schriffen’s undying support of the great job Pedro is doing is only going to win the fans over.

upnorthsox

He never misses a chance to flog that inanimate horse.

Jeffrey

1. Pedro re the Andrews: “I’m not going to overreact to 150, 160 at-bats.” OK, how many ABs will it take?
2. Schriffin wants to know why people are complaining about Pedro. It doesn’t seem to make any sense to him. After all, Pedro just makes up the lineup.

Adam

He gets very creative with it according to Schriffen. You know, sometimes he bats Vaughn 2nd, sometimes 4. He may bat Benintendi 2nd, or 5th. This Grifol is waaaayyy outside the box.

vanillablue

Hey Pedro, we’re just asking for any kind of reaction here. Nobody’s asking you to go all Billy Martin on the Andrews. Just a normal managerial reaction to two of your key guys playing like crap would be fine.

Adam

Boston’s AAA pitcher took a perfecto to the 8th against Charlotte. Colas just broke it up. The pitchers name? I kid you not…Dick Fitts. Get this guy to the majors asap.

Pointerbabe

Love to see him pitch to Rusty Kuntz.

ParisSox

This is why I read the game thread comments the next day.

Jeffrey

Schriffin: “That’s respect for Fletcher’s arm!!”
Stone, who does not have an unlimited tolerance for bullshit: “That’s also a catcher at third.”

Jeffrey

But yes, nice throw by Fletcher.

Jeffrey

Like Beggars Pizza behind the plate, John Schriffin is laying it on thick tonight.

Last edited 21 days ago by Jeffrey
As Cirensica

Still luckily under Shulman’s narrating since the White Sox are blackout for Canadians so I have to warch over Rogers broadcast. Fortunately.

Pointerbabe

Anderson Cooper still baffling Sox bats.

As Cirensica

5 pitch inning. Only 2 were wasteful

BuehrleMan

I haven’t been watching but judging by the box score I’m guessing maybe the Sox have come out a little flat tonight.

Maybe we should call them the Chicago Pancakes. Or some other thing that’s flat.

As Cirensica

It’s been a very boring game. From both sides.

ParisSox

Chicago Earths

BenwithVen

It’s almost like the team has quit on the manager.

As Cirensica

3 meager hits in what it is effectively a bullpen game.

BuehrleMan

Anyone wondering what that smell is I’m pretty sure it’s a bagel.

funkerdan

since when are bagels flat?

Foulkelore

Bagel chips?

BuehrleMan

Ah well. No bagel. But I am hungry now.

As Cirensica

Well, they about another shutout. Thanks Lee.

As Cirensica

Meant to type “avoid” instead of “about”. I was half sleep when I typed that. That or aging is coming to me fast.

Joliet Orange Sox

Statcast had the Sox with a team xBA of 0.269 tonight and the Blue Jays with a team xBA of 0.196. The Sox had a higher xBA than the Blue Jays in all three games of this series. The Sox are breaking new ground in finding ways to be outscored 15-4 in a series.

asinwreck

Over the past 44 years, I have never thought of Jerry Reinsdorf as “a baseball guy.”

StockroomSnail

More like an 80 grade tax cheat

StockroomSnail

“you also can’t overreact to a couple months of baseball” I’m DYING

ParisSox

Yes but you can REACT