Health plan: White Sox to 'police' players during off-season
Every MLB team has them, and the good ones have the depth to keep on rolling.
The White Sox are squarely in the bad team category, and they didn't come close to overcoming health issues that sidelined many of their best players throughout the season.
"In my case, the injuries, I lost almost two months because of my back injury and that also affected our team," third baseman Yoan Moncada said through a translator. "We had a couple of guys who went down. The biggest disappointment is nothing went our way. I think that's the biggest disappointment."
In a rare meeting with reporters on Aug. 31 -- the day Chris Getz was introduced as the new general manager -- chairman Jerry Reinsdorf had some interesting thoughts about all of the injuries that have been dogging the Sox in recent years.
"I don't want to make predictions, but in this division and with the core of talent that we have, I would hope and I expect that next year is going to be a lot better than this year," Reinsdorf said. "How much better? I don't know. But look at the core of this team. And if we can get them all on the field? One of the things that we're doing this year, every year we send players home with a plan, 'This is what you've got to do.'
"But this year, we're going to police these plans. We're going to make sure the players are following these plans so when they come to spring training, they're ready. We're not going to take their word that they're doing what they're supposed to be doing."
Having to "police" players in the off-season is not a good look for the White Sox, but that's where the franchise is at as they try to avoid a 100-loss season.
"Yes, the team gives us a plan to work on throughout the off-season," Moncada said. "We usually follow that plan. But at the same time, we always hire our personal trainer to help us to follow that plan. I think that's something everybody does."
Before they begin training for the 2024 season this winter, Sox manager Pedro Grifol wants to make sure his players head home with a solid foundation.
"I think it's important for us to finish healthy and then adhere to the off-season plan for these guys and being a part of watching their plans be executed," Grifol said. "The most important thing is to try to prevent injuries here and not be where they first have to go home, get healthy and then start their program. That's not in anybody's best interest.
"We're focused right now on keeping these guys healthy, making sure they do the right things on and off the field and go out to the off-season and prepare themselves to navigate a major-league season."
Luis Robert Jr. is the White Sox's best player, by far, and he's already appeared in a career-high 131 games this year.
Robert was back in the Sox's lineup Wednesday night at Kansas City after missing five games with right quad tightness.
With 20 games left on the schedule, Grifol will continue exercising caution with Robert, Moncada and other players the White Sox are going to be counting on next year.
"They've got to go play," Grifol said. "If they slide, they slide. They've got to hit to hit. If they get hit by a pitch, they get hit by a pitch. I'm talking about all of us coming together, sports performance, strength and conditioning, trainers, myself, doctors, everybody, just to make sure they're getting their proper rest, we're not putting them in a position where we think they are vulnerable to getting hurt."