Rick Hahn: White Sox's lack of effort 'will be addressed' under Pedro Grifol


CHICAGO (670 The Score) – One of new White Sox manager Pedro Grifol’s many tasks will be getting his club to play all out every day.

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That wasn’t always the case in the team’s disappointing 2022 season, in part because of injuries. Back in June, then-manager Tony La Russa acknowledged that at least five White Sox players were instructed to take it easy on the bases on routine plays as they dealt with various ailments.

While that was done to protect their health, it also played meant the White Sox didn’t capitalize on every opportunity and it played into the narrative of the ugly season – that the team wasn’t giving maximum effort.

On Thursday when the White Sox introduced Grifol as the 42nd manager in franchise history, general manager Rick Hahn attempted to clarify the message the organization sent to players about playing hard in 2022.

“What the message is to all the players – and that probably includes most other organizations – is if you are on the field, we want you to give 100%,” Hahn said. “That means 100% of what he can give on a given day. There was one player over the course of the season who had a soft-tissue injury that was instructed if you hit a ground ball to second and you're going to be out, we understand you shouldn't bust it fully. He was a young player and more likely to err on the side of aggression was the thought. He was given a message of, 'Let's be a little careful.’ We were worried we were on the edge of an injury becoming more significant.

"Other than that message, we asked the players to keep us updated on what was going on from an injury or fatigue standpoint. But when you are out there, we expect 100% of what you have.”

When asked if that's what he saw from his White Sox, Hahn responded, "I am not sure that message fully got through."

When asked about his plan for addressing the issue, Grifol preached the need for clear communication with his players.

"It will start in spring training with the message being we want intensity but also pay attention to the fact they need rest and recovery,” Grifol said. “When the season starts, we will communicate with the players very well. They will know when they will have days off, so they will also know that they may have a day off on a Sunday and combine it with a scheduled Monday off.

"We must have a collaboration plan about guys' bodies and how they go about it. Communication and talking to the trainers, strength and conditioning people, must be a part of the plan for each and every player.”

Grifol was also asked how playing time and effort expectations should be determined for players who are ailing.

“That is a good question,” he said. “Guys play hurt and through pain all the time. Sometimes you have to back off of them a little bit to keep these guys on the field. It will be about me communicating with the player that night to see what he can give us. If we feel he can help us win that night, he will play. If not, we will give him the day off and he can play the next day.”

The White Sox’s effort level was broached in Grifol’s interviews with the organization before he was hired.

“As you heard from Pedro, that will be a priority going forward,” Hahn said. “All we can do is go after what we want to accomplish going forward. I don't think we have to rehash any concerns as to who said what or how it was misinterpreted. The only thing is that we hopefully have learned from this, is to do it better. We identified it as an issue and one that will be addressed.”

Asked about the energy level in the clubhouse in 2022, Hahn was concise.

“It's really not worth publicly attacking issues from the 2022 team,” Hahn said. “All I will say is we have identified those things and what the issues are that we thought were behind them happening. We have made it a priority going forward to rectify them.”

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.

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