Hurts so bad: Can reeling White Sox survive another wave of injuries?
It's another season and another seemingly endless string of injuries for the White Sox.
Eloy Jimenez is the latest key player to go down, and the Sox are hoping he only misses 6-8 weeks with a strained right hamstring. If it's a full tear, Jimenez could miss the season.
Quick thought, right off the bat -- sliding into first base is frowned upon, but the White Sox might want to seriously consider the strategy.
The big risks with going into the bag headfirst are broken fingers and jammed shoulders, but look at the alternative:
• Jimenez injured his hamstring running through first base.
• Luis Robert is sidelined with a groin injury after running through the bag at Cleveland last Thursday. He missed the weekend series at Minnesota but is expected to be back in the lineup Tuesday night against the Royals at Guaranteed Rate Field. Last season, Robert tore his right hip flexor running to first and missed more than three months.
• Also last year, second baseman Nick Madrigal tore his right hamstring running to first base in early June and was done for the season. Madrigal is now playing for the Cubs after being traded in July.
• New right fielder AJ Pollock is back off the IL after straining his hamstring running to first base in the second game of the season.
The White Sox easily finished first in the AL Central last year despite missing Jimenez (left shoulder), Robert, Madrigal and Yasmani Grandal (knee) for long stretches.
They are big favorites to win the division again, but the Sox are riding a seven-game losing streak and Jimenez joins Lance Lynn (knee), Yoan Moncada (oblique), Joe Kelly (biceps) and Garrett Crochet (season-ending Tommy John surgery) on the IL.
There are injury issues all over baseball due to the 99-day lockout followed by a shortened spring training.
The Sox have had trouble staying healthy the past several years. Bad luck always plays a big part with injuries, but the White Sox have a new strength and conditioning coach (Goldy Simmons) and head athletic trainer James Kruk is early in his second season on the job.
"I don't believe any of the injuries that we're currently dealing with have anything to do with the medical staff, the training staff, the players' effort, the players' focus, any of that," Sox general manager Rick Hahn said earlier this month. "I want to make sure that's clear. Yes, we made some changes to our training staff over the course of the offseason, our strength and conditioning staff. But frankly, they didn't really have an offseason to work with the players and now they're presented with a unique situation over three and a half weeks to ramp up for a season. So none of this is on them.
"Are the injuries that we're seeing, not just here but throughout baseball, a byproduct of unmonitored offseasons and a shortened ramp up? It's certainly possible."