Yasmani Grandal Day-to-Day After Exiting Tigers vs. White Sox with Back Injury

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 18, 2020

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 21:  Yasmani Grandal #24 of the Chicago White Sox looks on during spring training workouts on February 19, 2020 at Camelback Ranch in Glendale Arizona.  (Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images)
Ron Vesely/Getty Images

Chicago White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal has been ruled day-to-day after leaving Monday night's game against the Detroit Tigers because of lower back stiffness.

Grandal was 0-for-2 in the contest with a walk and strikeout before exiting in the seventh inning.

The 31-year-old was expected to be a key part of Chicago's lineup, but he has struggled during his first season in the Windy City. Entering Monday, he was hitting just .230/.347/.328 with one home run, three doubles and 10 RBI in 18 appearances.

After spending the previous four seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Grandal signed a one-year deal with the Milwaukee Brewers during the 2019 offseason. He hit .246 with a career-high 28 homers and 77 RBI before penning a four-year contract with the White Sox in November.

He earned his first trip to the All-Star Game in 2015, hitting .234 with 16 home runs and 47 RBI on the year, and he followed that up with an even bigger offensive year in 2016. He hit just .228 but smashed 27 home runs and drove in 72 runs for a Dodgers team that reached the National League Championship Series.

In 2017, the Dodgers made it to the World Series, and although Grandal largely ceded playing time to Austin Barnes in the playoffs, he produced in the regular season to the tune of a .247 batting average with 22 home runs and 58 RBI.

He followed that up with another solid season in 2018, when he hit .241 with 24 home runs and 68 RBI en route to the Dodgers reaching the World Series for the second straight year.

L.A. did not re-sign Grandal, though, which worked to the advantage of a Milwaukee team that fell to the Dodgers in the NLCS.

If the Cuba-born catcher is out for a while, James McCann is likely in line to receive the bulk of the playing time behind the plate for Chicago until he returns.

Grandal has his shortcomings defensively and is inconsistent as a hitter, but he is capable of carrying the White Sox offensively when he is in a rhythm.

While being without Grandal may not make or break Chicago's playoff chances, there will be far more pressure on the likes of Eloy Jimenez, Jose Abreu, Edwin Encarnacion, Yoan Moncada and Tim Anderson to produce while he is on the shelf.