GLENDALE, Ariz. -- After a lot of time and effort and pain and consternation, Brett Lawrie has no doubt that last season’s injury woes were all because of the shoes.
The White Sox second baseman said Saturday morning that he traced the root cause of a series of leg injuries that bothered him for several frustrating months to the use of orthotics.
Returning to the White Sox after signing a one-year deal worth $3.5 million in December, Lawrie declared himself fit for action before the team’s first full-squad workout. He hit .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs and 36 RBIs in 384 plate appearances last season but didn’t return to the field after he hurt himself on July 21.
“It’s getting better,” Lawrie said. “It’s definitely in a position where I can be on the field and help my team. I have to continue working out and continue do what I’m doing to allow me to go out there and help the boys.
“It was definitely frustrating because I’m trying to get back on the field. If it’s not necessarily anything I can do in the training room, and it’s in my shoes, there’s not much I can do about it.
“I took them out of my shoes, and I’ve felt better since. But the position they put me in, it’s been tough, but we’re getting there.”
Then-manager Robin Ventura initially described Lawrie’s injury as tricky within a week of the first occurrence. No description could have been more accurate.
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Over the course of all the treatment, team officials looked at the knee, hamstring, calf — pretty much everything in the region. They prescribed rest and tried everything to no avail. Lawrie started his rehab assignment on Aug. 13 and played in three straight games before issues began to surface again. He played in two more games, batting twice in each on Aug. 17 and Aug. 20, before the assignment ended and he returned to Chicago still in search of answers.
It wasn’t until October that Lawrie determined the issue was orthotics, an over-the-counter shoe insert used to provide better arch support and balance. Lawrie had never used them before last season.
“It changes your whole biomechanics and I’m a powerful guy,” Lawrie said. “I use my feet and I use the ground to move, so if I’m using parts of my body that I shouldn’t be using and it’s using the smaller things that aren’t allowing the bigger things, then I’m in a dangerous spot, a dangerous place. That’s exactly what happened.”
“I’m glad we caught it sooner than later. Now we can move forward.”
Lawrie doesn’t blame anyone. He’s more interested in worrying about the future than the past. Ands he wasn’t the only one frustrated by the lack of answers as Lawrie worked with team athletic trainers and doctors for months trying to determine the cause.
“It’s not anyone’s fault,” he said. “Everyone is trying to find the X on the map.”
But he’s discovered the answer and has his body back in the form required to provide the White Sox with constant energy.
“No doubt,” Lawrie said. “Why would it be anything but that? That’s me. Once I’m on the field I am able to be myself again and that stuff will come out. That’s just who I am.”