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Yasmani Grandal is back, Sox lineup at full strength

/ by Vinnie Duber
Presented By Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich
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The Chicago White Sox’ lineup is back together again — for the first time.

Yasmani Grandal is back from the injured list, less than two months after having surgery to repair a torn tendon in his knee.

The White Sox get the obvious benefit of having their No. 1 catcher at their disposal. But the biggest impact will be in the lineup, where the team adds the guy who was its hottest hitter at the time of the injury back into the mix.

Grandal wowed with his ability to draw walks and get on base before he got hurt in early July, showing that he could still make a huge impact even while owning a low batting average. His knack for clutch hits also came in handy and figures to continue to do so as the White Sox play their final month’s worth of regular-season games before the postseason.

Though the White Sox broke out of an offensive funk Thursday in Toronto, scoring 10 runs in a road trip-capping win, they showed a tendency to go cold in the games prior. Hitting coach Frank Menechino bemoaned his hitters’ approach prior to the game and agreed that Grandal and his famously patient approach could have a positive impact on the entire lineup.

The most noticeable thing about Grandal’s return, of course, is that the White Sox finally boast the collection of hitters they thought they would during the preseason. With the exception of the traded Nick Madrigal, the White Sox now have their projected lineup intact, complete with the recovered Grandal, Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert, who all worked their way back from significant injuries during the season.

 

Fresh off a 14-game stretch against fellow American League contenders, the White Sox didn’t exactly look “ready for October” in the traditional sense, not playing the best baseball they’re capable of playing. But Grandal’s arrival could certainly help the White Sox get there over the next month as they continue to chase a championship.

To make room on the active roster, the White Sox sent Zack Collins to Triple-A Charlotte, seemingly affirming what looked to be the case, that he fell behind Seby Zavala on the team’s catching depth chart during Grandal’s absence. As much praise as Collins earned for his improvement behind the plate this season, Zavala is known to excel at working with the pitching staff and got the bulk of the playing time while Grandal was in recovery mode. It would be no surprise to see Zavala stay as the team’s No. 2 catcher for the remainder of the regular season and into the playoffs.

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