The Chicago White Sox have a situation where their ace prefers one catcher over the other.
The Chicago White Sox have one of the best catching duos in all of baseball. There is no tandem we would rather have for this team than Yasmani Grandal and James McCann. There are some impatient White Sox fans out there who think Grandal was a bad signing because he got off to a slow start. Well, those people will soon be quiet because he is really starting to hit and his defense as a catcher is really good. He has proven that he can be a good catcher for a long time now.
One thing that is really crazy, however, is how much better Lucas Giolito is with McCann over Grandal. Saturday’s game against the Kansas City Royals proved that even further. He now has three decisions with each catcher this season and he is 3-0 with McCann and 1-2 with Grandal.
With McCann, on top of the 3-0 record, in 34 innings he has a 1.85 ERA, 52 strikeouts, eight walks, and has given up two home runs. One of those wins for Giolito with McCann was his no-hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
With Yasmani Grandal behind the plate, Gioltio is 1-2 in 20.2 innings of work. He has an ERA of 5.66, 23 strikeouts,10 walks, and has allowed three home runs. As you can tell by comparing the statistics, Giolito is significantly better with McCann behind the plate than with Grandal. The duo formed chemistry back in 2019 and that was a big part of the White Sox seeing Giolito turn his career around.
Make no mistake about it, Grandal is a fantastic catcher and should be getting most of the starts behind the plate. With that said, he should not catch Giolito again at any point this season. McCann, if nothing else, should be Giolito’s personal catcher. He will probably catch other pitchers at times but Grandal will see a lot of time when Giolito isn’t pitching. If you are Rick Renteria looking at these numbers, there should be no way that Giolito is throwing to Grandal anymore this year.
McCann’s contract is up after this season. He might want to go be a starter somewhere else. He deserves it but the White Sox really might suffer from that loss if it happens. Even when he isn’t in the lineup, it just feels good to know that he is available. Edwin Encarnacion hasn’t been that good this season so using whichever catcher isn’t catching as the designated hitter should be the norm. Grandal can also play first base, as he did yesterday, to help get him more plate appearances. These two are both so valuable to this team but it is crazy how important McCann is to Giolito.