Pitchers and catchers just reported but White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal is already out with an injury: he was diagnosed with a left calf strain yesterday.
Grandal’s MRI revealed only a minor strain, thankfully, and it should only keep him out for a short time. He’s expected to miss the first week of Cactus League games. Considering that most non-pitchers say they are REALLY ready to be done with spring training by mid-March, maybe this is a blessing in disguise for Grandal, who will get less wear and tear before the games that count get underway.
Grandal just signed a four-year, $73 million deal to join the Sox after hitting .246/.380/.468 with 28 homers and 77 driven in for Milwaukee. It was his fourth straight season with 20+ homers. He’s also one of the best pitch-framers in the game if not the best.
Good to hear his injury appears to be a minor one.
Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke said this morning that Chris Sale won’t be ready for the start of the season. He’ll begin the year on the injured list.
The reason is not, Roenicke says, his rehabbed elbow directly. It’s that he’s been sidelined with pneumonia and is thus a couple of weeks behind in his preparation. Roenicke, as paraphrased by Julian McWilliams of the Boston Globe, said that it was “unfair” to give sale “just four starts” this spring.
Which, as Rotoworld’s Matthew Pouliot observes, is kind of strange because Sale’s last four spring trainings have consisted of three, five, four and two starts, respectively, yet he has been deemed ready to go each year. Pouliot also notes that, if he was truly only a couple of weeks behind, as Roenicke says, he’d be ramped up to about four innings per outing or so by the time the bell rings as opposed to six, maybe, and that that’s not an unusual level of stamina for a starter in this day and age given the changes in bullpen usage. Ideal for Sale? Maybe not, but not the sort of thing one would expect to result in an IL stint to start the year.
An overabundance of caution informed by the fact that, well, the Red Sox aren’t intending to compete this year? A change in philosophy under the Red Sox’ interim new manager? Or is there something going on with Sale’s health at the moment?