Last Tuesday, third baseman Yoán Moncada returned to the South Side, as the White Sox prepared to face the Chicago Cubs in the first of the two Crosstown Classic games taking place at Guranteed Rate Field.
Daryl Van Schouwen tweeted this out about his return:
Yoan Moncada's disc issue has extended to discomfort in his glute and hamstring, he said. "I feel good, not 100%, but I feel good enough to play. This is something I have to deal with. But definitely feel much better now than we started the season."— Daryl Van Schouwen (@CST_soxvan) July 25, 2023
In a season that by all accounts is lost, a smart franchise would use this as an opportunity to have their players get the procedures they need done taken care of. But as I am sure everyone reading this knows, the Chicago White Sox are not a smart franchise.
We have seen similar issues with Luis Robert Jr, Eloy Jiménez, Tim Anderson and, most recently, Andrew Vaughn.
Vaughn was out from July 18-25, when he returned alongside Moncada after spending some time in a walking boot.
My question is how does one team routinely misdiagnose or misunderstand the health of their players? Most teams may wait a day or two to put someone on the IL. The White Sox seem to wait until a player can barely swing (Robert at the end of last season, after playing several games with one arm, swinging obvious pain) or is “loafing” (Anderson, Jiménez, Robert) to care about their health.
Hell, some teams use the IL as a way to let a player with a relatively minor injury take a couple of extra days to get their mind right if they’re struggling, or just to take a breath during a long season. Are you telling me that this team needed a struggling Vaughn to return the second he could walk again, instead of a few days later?
Michael Kopech is another great example of a player who was sent out every fifth day despite being obviously hurt. At no point has Kopech shown the ability to be healthy enough to even be a reliable starter for a full season, only flashing bursts of his full potential, just to seemingly have a dead arm around this time of the season.
We saw the same with Carlos Rodón in the past. This team has pointedly risked players’ futures because of their unwillingness to heal obvious injuries on the IL. The training staff on the South Side should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this to happen so often, which seems to be a feature of Jerry Reinsdorf-run teams (sorry to Lonzo Ball.)
And I’m sure there’s an element of this that’s on the players, who are telling the training staff that they’re good to go. Athletes do this pretty often, after all. They’re called soft for not playing through the pain, or they feel like they are letting their teammates down for not being available.
It is at that point that an organization ran by people that have any sort of idea of what they are doing takes such a player aside and tells them: no. Teams are supposed to protect players from themselves. Instead, the White Sox constantly let these players run onto the field and make their injuries worse.