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Sox looking into why leg, hamstring injuries have piled up

/ by Vinnie Duber
Presented By Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich
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Seriously? Again?

The Chicago White Sox have been hammered by injuries this season. And though the one that knocked Eloy Jiménez out for months was arguably the most significant, it's been the outlier in terms of where the injury is located.

The rest — injuries of varying degrees to Luis Robert, Adam Engel, Tim Anderson, Billy Hamilton, Michael Kopech and Nick Madrigal, the last another months-long blow announced Thursday — have affected players' legs, mostly their hamstrings, with the exception of Robert, who's in recovery mode after suffering a torn hip flexor. Three of them, the injuries to Robert, Madrigal and Anderson, have come while the players were hustling down the first-base line trying to beat out infield singles.

RELATED: Madrigal latest Sox player down with months-long injury

So what's the deal with all these leg and hamstring injuries? Because it seems like a lot.

"We don't have any conclusions yet, but it's an extremely fair question and one that quite frankly we're spending a lot of time on internally," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said Thursday. "Out of fairness, it's important to note that we've seen an increase of such injuries throughout the game. It's not just a White Sox problem, per se. There also is the element of bad luck, or bad clustered luck, of these things piling on top of each other.

 

"Those may be the explanations, but quite frankly, neither of them are particularly satisfying to us internally."

After Madrigal's injury Wednesday night and the ensuing announcement that he could miss the remainder of the season, depending on what form of treatment the White Sox settle on, fans weren't satisfied, either.

Madrigal joins Robert as a key everyday player sidelined with a serious lower-body injury, and though the White Sox have done well to weather the injuries they've suffered to this point, there's certainly the potential for the sum total of them to start having a negative effect on their chase for a championship in 2021.

Along the way, though, there have been others. Engel suffered a hamstring strain in the middle of spring training and didn't make his return until early June. Anderson and Hamilton each spent time on the injured list with hamstring strains. Kopech's there now with one.

Again, it's a lot. And the White Sox have indeed noticed. As for solving the problem, though, that's going to take some looking into.

"I have had numerous conversations on this topic with Kenny (Williams), with Jerry (Reinsdorf), Jerry with both of us, with our sports-performance people in different fields, both internally and externally, to try to get to some sort of explanation.

"We're not there yet in terms of the conclusion, and there are some non-White Sox related potential explanations in the end. But it's a fair question and one that troubles all of us here and one we're eager to find a solution to."

We'll see what those conclusions wind up being. Hahn's right that injuries have piled up across baseball, not only on the South Side. Bad luck does exist, trends or no trends. And there's the idea that players playing a full 162-game season after last year's shortened 60-game campaign could be playing a role.

But it's going to take more than Twitter speculation and a visit to Dr. Google to figure out what's going on. That's a process the White Sox are in the middle of right now.

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