White Sox general manager Rick Hahn spent a lot of time talking about injuries when he met with reporters before the White Sox played the Blue Jays Monday. Of course he did — injuries have blazed a careening trail through the Sox roster, the latest Yoan Moncada going on the injured list Monday for the second time this season.
The hamstring is the third physical issue Moncada has been saddled by this season. He strained his oblique on the last day of spring training and was out until May 9. A sore quad limited his time since then. Through all of it, Moncada has struggled to find his hitting stroke, batting .179.230.292.
Moncada joins a long list of Sox players on the IL: Pitchers Kyle Crick (right elbow inflammation), Liam Hendriks (right forearm strain) and left-handers Aaron Bummer (strained left lat) and Garrett Crochet (Tommy John surgery), catcher Yasmani Grandal (lower back spasms) and outfielder Eloy Jim?nez (right hamstring tendon tear).
“A mild strain has the risk of turning into something more serious if we aren’t careful,” Hahn said, so it’s more time for Jake Burger at third base until Moncada is eligible to come back for a road trip in Anaheim and San Francisco next week.
“The way he can help us the most is to be healthy when he gets back, not play at less than his best,” Hahn said.
Hahn said the Sox rank 11th among teams hardest hit by injuries. What gives?
“The training has never been more sophisticated than it has been at this time, in terms of our ability to monitor every movement a player makes during the game much less the stuff we do in the gym and the continued monitoring of their range of motion, strength, flexibility, etc,” Hahn said.
“So we have more information than we ever had before. Does that mean that we are properly training them? When you have the amount of injuries you see in baseball right now, it’s something every team has to look at with a critical eye. More information is usually considered good but it doesn’t necessarily mean we’re all doing the right practices.”
Michael Kopech, who threw 75 pitches over five innings in a 4-3 loss to the Astros Sunday, is not on the IL but is dealing with right knee soreness that will be watched.
“He didn’t feel perfect with the knee yesterday,” Hahn said. “He still felt a little something there, which is understandable. Each time out it’s going to become less and less and he’s going to be able to ideally pitch through it without further incident.”
Grandal and Bummer
Grandal (low back) “has responded very well to treatment and will be ramping up his baseball activities in the next couple of days,” Hahn said. “We don’t have a timeframe on him just yet, but this weekend was good, productive. We’re trending in the right way with him as well.
Hahn said Bummer’s recovery process is going to be slower than first thought.
“So far everything is trending the right way, but we don’t have him just yet on a throwing program until he’s 100 percent asymptomatic in that lat,” Hahn said. “That’s the kind of thing you can’t mess around with.”
Eloy back at it
Eloy Jimenez (hamstring) re-starts his injury rehab assignment at Triple-A Charlotte Tuesday. Jimenez, who was injured April 23, will ease into it as a designated hitter at the outset.
Mendick sits — for now
Danny Mendick, who batted .277 with two homers and 11 RBI in 17 games since Tim Anderson went on the injured list, got a rest Monday with Anderson back from the IL and Josh Harrison playing second base.
But Mendick might play second Tuesday, manager Tony La Russa said, but he’ll also spell Anderson as Anderson paces himself coming off the IL.
“We’re all going to watch Tim carefully in the games, with the heat,” La Russa said. “Definitely going to not disregard what Danny did.”
Mendick is batting .290/.338/.435/.773 in his last 18 games. Harrison was batting .208/.283/.300 through Sunday.