Danny Mendick didn’t curse his luck.
The White Sox infielder’s season ended on Thursday with news that he tore the ACL in his right knee, an injury sustained on Wednesday outfield collision With Adam Hussle.
“You know what, that ball was in no man’s land,” said Mendick using crutches as the Sox opened four games against the Baltimore Orioles at Guaranteed Rate Field a few hours earlier.
“You’re going out, you’re trying to be aggressive. There’s nothing I’ll ever take back about it. I’m an aggressive player. I know Husley is too. I told him about it.” Spoken. I won’t change it. You go behind the ball – that’s how it works. Maybe a little bit of miscommunication, but that’s part of it.”
However, when it comes to keeping players healthy, the Sox may be cursing their luck.
In addition to Mendick, outfielder Adam Engel was named in the 10-day IL on Thursday. Engel suffered a right hamstring strain after going down Mendick during an innings 9-5 Domestic Damage For the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday.
Engel’s hamstring cost him in the first 58 matches of last season. He returned on 6 June but went on a 10-day IL later that month.
This time, he said the injury seemed less serious.
“Wakeing up today is certainly painful, but nowhere near as bad as what I experienced last year,” he said. “So I’m optimistic that it should be on the shorter side of the IL tenure and not take too long to recover, get back there.”
The Sox recalled first baseman/outfielder Gavin Sheets from Triple-A Charlotte on Thursday and selected the contract of Double-A infielder Lenin Sosa.
Aloy Jimenez was transferred to the 60-day-old IL and was eligible to be reinstated on Thursday. He is in rehab with Charlotte.
Meanwhile, outfielder Louis Robert was ruled out of Thursday’s game with a leg injury.
“They already have a problem, so we’re going to calm it down,” manager Tony La Russa said. “I hope he plays tomorrow.”
The Sox count their lineup day by day. He has suffered multiple injuries since going down to Garrett Crockett and Lance Lynn in spring training.
The injury bug has also bitten Tim Anderson, Yoan Moncada, Liam Hendrix, Yasmani Grandal and Aaron Bummer.
The 28-year-old Mendick, who is hitting .289 with 15 RBIs in 31 games, had earned more play time than La Russa and earned respect from Sox fans for his gritty game, especially when filling in for Anderson. , while the All-Star shortstop was recovering from a right groin strain.
“It’s a great sport in many ways, but a lot of the time doesn’t do justice,” La Russa said. “What he has done is to play extra time and have been so productive.
“Our record, we survived getting Tim out, and almost every single one of those games, Danny did something or something, plural.”
Anderson returned from his IL tenure on Monday.
The medic said he doesn’t know what’s going on with the Sox, but “for all the injuries we’ve got it’s impressive what we’ve done so far. People are coming back and getting better at full strength, and we going to be dangerous.”
Mendick was upbeat despite a season-ending injury, believing he had enough time to rehab and should be ready for his first day of spring training in 2023.
“They gave me a good timeline of when I’m going to have surgery and when I can start after that until I’m done,” Mendick said. “It’s exciting to look forward to it. I’m looking forward to being completely healthy and really strong.”
The left-hander hit Sheets for a 270-run stand, including two home runs in nine matches with Charlotte being demoted on June 10. He scored .204 runs in his first stint with the Sox this season, backing away from his promising rookie year.
But after Sheets’ stint with the Knights and working with their hitting coach Chris Johnson, Sox hitting coach Frank Menecchino “really felt like Gavin was more himself,” La Russa said. “He’s a veteran now, so he’ll be ready and he’ll get pulled in, he’ll play in the right field.”
The 22-year-old can play short, second or third and is one of the Sox’s top prospects. He led the Southern League entering Thursday with a .331 average, 85 hits and 48 RBIs, posting .933 ops at Double-A Birmingham.
“He can help wherever he goes, but when you’re putting that year together, you’ve got to believe he’s going to be an everyday player,” La Russa said. “He is there (playing) every day and he is tearing cover with the ball. The fact that he can play three infield spots makes it easy.”
The Venezuelan infielder, signed as an international free agent in 2016, will wear No. 50. He was not in the starting lineup on Thursday.
Tribune reporter Paul Sullivan contributed.