22:58: Grandal will be on the injured list and Perez will be called up from Triple-A, manager Tony La Russa told reporters (including Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times).
22:27: The White Sox have announced that Grandal has left the game due to left knee discomfort, and the catcher is still being evaluated.
22:18: White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal left Saturday’s game with an apparent left leg injury after a play at the plate. After Elvis Andrus singled in the seventh inning, Grandal was thrown out trying to score from second base, and appeared to hurt his knee while trying to dodge the tag. Grandal had to be helped off the field and did not return to the game.
More information about Grandal’s status will be revealed after the game, but it certainly looks like the veteran catcher will be missing at least some time. Given the calendar, anything but a minor injury could jeopardize the rest of Grandal’s 2022 season.
Grandal already missed five weeks earlier this season due to back spasms, and another significant injury would only add to a nightmarish year for the 33-year-old backstop. Limited to 287 at bats in 73 games, Grandal hits just .202/.307/.258, career lows in all three slash-line categories. His once remarkable strength has completely dwindled, with an isolated slugging stat of just 0.056 (miles below the 0.211 ISO he wore during his first 10 seasons). While Grandal still has one of the best walk-rates in the league, his lack of other production on record has made him a sub-replacement player, with a -0.2 fWAR.
As tough as Grandal’s season has been, the White Sox won’t be helped by the potential loss of their starting catcher as the team continues to compete for a spot in the playoffs. Chicago Treated Defensive Specialist Reese McGuire to the Red Sox on the trade deadline, leave Seby Zavala as the primary backup and now potential starter along the way. Zavala (who later turns 29 in August) has racked up big numbers in Triple-A this season and has an above average 108 wRC+ in 142 PA in the majors this season, hitting .281/.329/.398.
Nick Ciuffo and Raudy Read are the only other catchers in Chicago’s farm system with MLB experience. Neither is on the 40-man roster, and neither are they Carlos Perez, a longtime member of the White Sox farm system hitting .259/.317/.448 this season with 17 home runs for Triple-A Charlotte. In the event that Grandal misses part of the entire season, the Sox will have to turn to one of these options, or perhaps seek the distance wire or the minor league trade route to land more trapping depth.