There are always people who talk about how long spring training for Major League Baseball is. Most of the people I’ve heard lean the way of spring training being far too long. It is days like today and how the training has started for the White Sox that give examples as to why the preseason for baseball is so long.
Injuries and fatigue play a major part in why spring training is as long as it is. So far the White Sox have had Nate Jones go down with a shoulder ailment last week. Yesterday it was Avisail Garcia that was held out due to an ingrown toenail and Jeff Keppinger with a sore right shoulder. Remember spring training for the pitches is just two weeks old, and position players reported last week- yet we’ve already got players out with different complaints.
Garcia isn’t expected to miss much more than the weekend, but according to Doug Padilla of ESPNChicago.com, “Keppinger dealt with shoulder soreness all last season and ended up having a clean-out procedure in September.”
Jeff Keppinger was signed prior to last season from the Tampa Bay Rays as a get on base guy. He was coming off a season in which he had a .367 OBP (On Base Percentage), coupled with his .325 average. For his career Keppinger is a .282 hitter with a .329 OBP, but the White Sox just hoped he’d bring his ability to make consistent contact to the team.
A lot of his issues last year may have been contributed to his ailing shoulder, but only a healthy Keppinger can show us if it was a fluke or not. Unfortunately, it appears he’s on the short list of players who are going to need the whole spring training to get healthy for now.