The White Sox will be without Danny Mendick for the rest of the season. The utility infielder tore his ACL on Wednesday night, after colliding with Adam Haseley while chasing down a fly ball in foul territory. It appeared like Mendick and Haseley knocked knees on the play, and Mendick needed to be helped off the field by White Sox staff.
“I didn’t think it was going to be that bad initially,” Mendick said. “There was probably some adrenalin in there. But when I was down it definitely hurt, and I couldn’t put any pressure on it. The MRI came back and they said I had a torn ACL. I was like all right, there’s a plan. I have to figure it out and rehab it and be back.”
Mendick is already looking ahead to Spring Training 2023 and is taking the optimistic perspective that he can come back better than ever.
“I was able to get up and prove what I can do, and I know having this will make me stronger and I can continue to do it.”
Mendick’s teammates feel the same way.
“He's a tough kid, man, really tough kid,” said Adam Engel, who also landed on the IL on Thursday, with a hamstring injury. “He's from New York. You can tell that obviously he's a little down but he's got a good attitude. He's going to be great, I think he's going to handle this and be able to come out the other side better. If he approaches this anything like he approaches everything else, he's going to have a great recovery and he'll be back to help us next year.”
That said, the White Sox still feel awful for him, and expressed how much they’ll miss him for the rest of the summer.
“It’s a great game in a lot of ways but a lot of time there’s no justice,” said Tony La Russa. “What he’s done to earn extra playing time and been so productive. Our record, we survived Tim being out and almost every one of those games, Danny did something or somethings plural. Made plays to get at-bats.
“He’s a tough guy. And nobody will forget what he did for us. Just gotta get well.”
“That's a crushing blow,” said Engel. “He's an awesome guy to have in the clubhouse. Obviously his production on the field has helped us a lot.
“I feel like we've obviously been hurt a lot this year, and we're still not in a bad spot. It's guys like Danny that are keeping us where we're at and somebody that's been earning more and more playing time and playing really, really well for us. Obviously, on the field we're going to miss the heck out of him, but hopefully we can all be there for him like he's been there for us, help him get through not being able to do what he loves.”
Mendick was a key player in the White Sox’ attempt to replace Tim Anderson, when Anderson was down with a groin injury. Not only did he fill in 17 games at shortstop, he also took Anderson’s spot atop the lineup five times. On the season, Mendick hit .289/.343/.443 with three home runs, 15 RBI and one stolen base. That production had earned him a permanent spot on the team, and more playing time too. But it sounds like Mendick doesn't want anyone feeling sorry for him now that his ascendant season is over.
“That’s the way I play, I play aggressively and I would never take it away,” Mendick said. “I tell them how it is and they have to keep going. It’s my injury and the team still has to go out and win tonight.”