The Chicago White Sox are only four games into the regular season, but the team seems to be dropping like flies. The shortened spring training as a result of the MLB lockout leading to an increase in injuries was expected to an extent, but the South Side is really taking a beating. Below is a roundup of the notable players currently sitting on the IL — and, for the love of all things good and holy, let’s hope it doesn’t get any longer.
It was announced in March that designated hitter Yermín Mercedes would be undergoing surgery to fix a left hamate fracture. The injury to his hand saw him placed on the IL retroactive to April 4. The surgery has a six- to eight-week recovery time, after which Mercedes is expected to join the Triple-A Charlotte Knights.
Newly-acquired outfielder AJ Pollock left the White Sox game on April 9 in Detroit due to a hamstring injury. He tweaked his leg while taking a hard turn around first base on a single, and although confirmation on the extent of the issue is still pending, Pollock stated that he thinks it will be “short-term.” His scheduled paternity leave was due to start on April 10, so he was already going to miss some time on the field. The White Sox have combined that leave with a stint on the 10-day IL. Hopefully he will be able to rest his hamstring during his time off and come back strong.
The right-handed relief pitcher has a nerve injury to his right biceps and is on the IL retroactive to April 4. He suffered the strain at the end of the 2021 season, before he signed with the White Sox, and was initially expected to be back for Opening Day. Rehab was slowed down by the prolonged lockout over the offseason, and while he is itching to pitch, Kelly is targeting an end-of-month return.
A right shoulder strain identified during spring training has landed Ryan Burr on the IL, retroactive to April 4. With all going well in recovery, the right-handed relief pitcher should be back before the end of the month.
On April 9, Tony La Russa announced that Lucas Giolito is headed to the IL with an abdominal strain. Giolito described the injury as “weird,” and said that it doesn’t affect pitchers very often. He will miss at least a couple of starts, though he is not expected to be sidelined long-term.
In a shock announcement while announcing the Opening Day roster, Yoán Moncada landed on the 10-day IL to start the season. The third baseman is suffering from a mildly-strained (Grade 1) oblique muscle and is likely to miss around three weeks, according to GM Rick Hahn.
Jonathan Stiever, a Triple-A right-handed pitcher, is on the 60-day IL due to a lat issue. He underwent surgery for the problem in August and was initially expected to be back and ready to go at spring training. With this extended recovery, Stiever could theoretically still be helpful to the White Sox pitching depth after May.
Right-handed starting pitcher Lance Lynn limped off the mound during a spring training game on March 29, having torn a tendon in his right knee. He underwent surgery in Chicago on April 5 to repair the tendon and is expected to be on the IL for six to eight weeks. The good news? Lynn already was walking around freely on the field for the Opening Day player introductions on April 12. The burly hurler should be able to start building up in early May. Lynn also dealt with right knee inflammation during the 2021 season, spending August 29 to September 11 on the IL, so hopefully any nagging knee issues will be resolved post-surgery.
Crochet, a lefty who was expected to perhaps fill the Michael Kopech swingman role for the pitching staff this year, is out for the entire 2022 season due to Tommy John surgery on his left elbow after an injury sustained during a spring training game. Initial MRIs showed ligament damage, and due to the recovery required after the surgery, Crochet may even miss part of 2023.
Goose Island Brewery Goose
With the White Sox switching to Miller products, the popular Goose Island section in right field, complete with goose head, is now gone. The Miller Moat, or whatever it is now, is not similarly figureheaded, nope, the White Sox couldn’t even get some knock-off Bernie Brewer to hit the road on I-94 south. Long live the goose — but Goose Island is gone from right field this season, with no timetable for return.