White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal left Friday night’s game due to left calf tightness, the Chicago announced. It isn’t yet clear when the calf issue surfaced for Grandal. He was replaced behind the plate by Zack Collins prior to the bottom of the fifth inning, more than two innings after Grandal’s last at-bat. (He struck out to end the top of the third.)
Between that strikeout and a single in his first plate appearance, Grandal’s slash line now sits .190/.388/.441 through 243 trips to the plate. Despite the lack of batting average, Grandal still has a 135 wRC+ due to his power (14 homers) and his exceptional on-base skills. Grandal’s 59 walks ranks second among all players, as the Rangers’ Joey Gallo leads baseball with 63 free passes, but Gallo has the benefit of 80 more plate appearances than the Chicago catcher has.
It isn’t yet known if Grandal will be placed on the injured list, but such a move would leave the White Sox without yet another key bat. Luis Robert, Eloy Jimenez, Adam Engel and Jake Lamb are all on the IL, while Nick Madrigal has been lost for season after hamstring surgery. Yoan Moncada also suffered a bruised hand while sliding into third base on Thursday, and he will miss at least Chicago’s current three-game series with the Tigers while recovering.
Collins figures to get the majority of starts at catcher if Grandal is sidelined, and Collins took an above-average 106 wRC+ (and .236/.333/.400 slash line in 127 PA) into Friday night’s game with Detroit. Yermin Mercedes has played two games at catcher this season, and Seby Zavala is also available at Triple-A.