Yasmane Grandal is excited on Saturday after returning to the White Sox squad a day earlier

In his first game with the White Sox in over a month, Yasmane Grandal was speaking with board referee Dan Bellino on Friday night.

“I kept telling him, ‘I hope I get out of this game healthy. This is all I’m looking for. “

It’s a familiar refrain, not just for Grandal in particular, but the White Sox in general.

Injuries have affected the Sox squad all season long as they try to find momentum at AL Central.

Grandal made it past Friday night’s game, losing 8-2 Sox, unhurt and not reporting any major problems the next day.

“Feeling good today,” he said. “It hurts a little here and there, but these are just things that are going to happen.”

Especially for someone who had two surgeries on his right knee after a tendon rupture last July and then had IL last month with lower back spasms.

Returning to the team after splitting rehab between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte, Grandal felt the adrenaline rush understandable.

“[Friday] It was exciting for me.” “In the fourth inning, I was still shivering. I was so excited.”

Manager Tony La Russa wasn’t that enthusiastic, but he was glad there was another impact racket available.

“It’s good that he’s back,” said La Rosa. “We need to produce him and what he brings to the club.”

They got some from that production in the editorial. Grandal went 3 for 4, leading in the Sox first round in a 7-4 loss. His RBI came against the Guardians’ right-handed Triston McKenzie and was a welcome development for a team that cut 249/.303/.357 against the right versus .285/.342/.449 against the left through Friday.

Grandal, the switch hitter, gives La Russa another option to improve those numbers against the right-wingers while waiting to see who, if anyone, General Manager Rick Hahn adds by the trade deadline.

Grandal spent a good portion of his nine-game rehab job getting his swing back.

“In Birmingham, he hit the left pretty much all the time,” he said. “Then all of a sudden in Triple-A the team we were playing had 18 players left, so I hit right the whole time there.”

Grandall was exaggerating, but not by much. Lehigh Valley, the opponent he was referring to, lists 13 left on his roster (including former Sox Jace Fry).

Anyway, Grandall said, “The focus was on finishing the rehab job and not backing off or anything.”

Even before he was sidelined due to his recent injury, Grandal has been sparring for the board this season with a .181/.288/.232 slash.

But he hopes all of these health issues are behind him and he can return to being the hitter the Sox needs.

“It’s crazy because at the beginning of the year it was all about the knee I had surgery and I’m trying to take care of that,” Grandall said. “But as soon as the back slipped, all of a sudden it looked like nothing had happened to the knee. Like a squat, like nothing. [wrong]. …so a good knee. Now he’s just taking care of the other side of the body.”

Keeping Grandal healthy and in the lineup is La Russa’s priority. How exactly will this work in the future?

The fact that the Sox kept Seby Zavala as the third hunter when they activated Grandal indicates that Grandal won’t be far behind the board as he climbs back up.

But he said, “I hope to catch as much as I can because I have to get back in rhythm and I only had three games behind the board in Triple-A. Everything else was either DH or first base.”

Grandal was in DH for Saturday’s opener, and La Russa doesn’t look far as to where he’ll play.

“You just watch, you see how he’s holding,” said La Rosa. “I thought he was moving well, and he took some big hits [Friday]. He was serious about his time in Charlotte.”



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