(670 The Score) After being plagued by knee and back injuries in a rough 2022 season, veteran White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal is feeling better and looking to bounce back in 2023.
Grandal hit just .202 with five homers, 27 RBIs and a .570 OPS in 99 games last season, and he wasn’t good at blocking the ball behind the plate or throwing out runners as his mobility was limited. Now, the 34-year-old Grandal is feeling healthier and expects much more out of himself.
"The fact I am able to move through the bottom of my body and being agile out there, being strong and having my legs underneath me is going to allow me to do many things behind the plate,” Grandal told reporters in training camp in Arizona recently.
Ideally, the White Sox coaching staff would like Grandal to stay healthy and catch about two-thirds of the team’s games. That would be a far cry from what has transpired in his first three seasons in Chicago, which have included Grandal starting 76 games at catcher in 2021 and 64 games there in 2022.
To work toward that goal, Grandal worked six days a week in Chicago with a personal trainer and the White Sox medical staff in the offseason. The focus was on Grandal regaining strength and flexibility in his lower body.
The hope is that Grandal can regain his offensive form of 2021, when he hit .240 with 23 homers and a .939 OPS in 93 games.
New White Sox manager Pedro Grifol has liked what he has seen out of Grandal early on this spring. Grandal is hitting .381 with a homer and a 1.084 OPS in 21 at-bats in Cactus League action, and he has looked more comfortable behind the plate.
“I am really happy the way he has been throwing the ball,” Grifol told 670 The Score. “He threw well off his knees and blocked the ball very well (Saturday). Overall, he looks strong. He looks very healthy. He has put together good at-bats from both sides of the plate. Everything is moving in the right direction when it comes to his game.”
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.
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