For the first time this season, the White Sox will get to put out a lineup that’s at full strength.
The White Sox made the move today to bring Yasmani Grandal back from the Injured List just under two months since his surgery on a tendon in his left knee. In a corresponding move, the White Sox sent Zack Collins to AAA Charlotte.
Grandal was having an oddly productive season before his injury, hitting .188/.388/.436 with a .364 wOBA, 134 wRC+, and 1.7 fWAR. Despite not playing in about two months, that fWAR total is still T-6th in the AL among catchers. Grandal was a big part of the offense right before he went down, hitting .260/.402/.603 in the month of June leading up to his injury.
Zack Collins, the White Sox 2016 First Round Draft pick, has struggled this season. After winning the backup catcher job out of Spring Training, Collins has hit just .202/.324/.331 this season with a 88 wRC+. It had been clear that Seby Zavala had passed him in the catching order in recent weeks with both his bat and his glove behind the plate. Collins has been rated as one of the worst pitch framers in the league to go along with his subpar bat. Hopefully, regular ABs in AAA will help get him back on track.
The White Sox are likely to ease Grandal back into the catching role – look for Grandal, Jose Abreu, Andrew Vaughn, and Eloy Jimenez to share time between 1B, DH, LF, and RF throughout the next month. It’s not unlikely we could see lineups with Grandal at DH, Abreu at 1B, Vaughn in RF, and Jimenez in LF.
The next big story for the White Sox will be who they decide to call up once rosters expand to 28 in September. Two names to keep an eye on as of now are Billy Hamilton and Evan Marshall, both of whom are on rehab assignments with AAA Charlotte currently. Collins could also make a return to the roster in order to give both Grandal and Zavala some rest down the stretch heading into the playoffs.
For now, I leave you with a question to ponder: Why do we like Yaz?
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