Paul Konerko: Injuries not to blame

July, 4, 2013
7/04/13
12:59
PM CT
CHICAGO -- Despite a rash of injuries this season, captain Paul Konerko won’t make any excuses for the way the Chicago White Sox have played.

Konerko, who just landed on the disabled list Wednesday because of back tightness, suggested it was the team’s lackluster play for a 33-48 record at the halfway point and not the revolving door that has become the disabled list, with guys such as himself, Jake Peavy, Dayan Viciedo, Gordon Beckham, John Danks and Gavin Floyd spending time on it, just to name a few.

“Actually, I think we haven’t been that unlucky,” Konerko said, moments after also saying the regression in his back injury is probably worse than when it flared up in the first place. “We’ve had a couple injuries, but if you match us up against any team, I don’t think we’ve been any more injured.”

Indeed, teams like the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets might scoff at the White Sox’s injury “woes,” but with the way the White Sox were built at maximum salary and without a deep farm system, covering for injuries was going to be harder than it would be for others.

“We’ve had some guys nicked up here and there, and there was a little stretch early but -- Beck went down for a while, Viciedo went down for a while and I’m down here a little -- I think if you look at any other team, you’d find the same situations,” Konerko said.

Hector Santiago and Dylan Axelrod have had nice moments covering for injured White Sox starters and their combined ERA (in starts only) is a serviceable 4.10. The Beckham injury opened the door for Conor Gillaspie to prove himself.

But healthy and effective starters such as Danks and Peavy all season, not to mention Floyd, were what the White Sox were expecting. And with the improvements Beckham has shown, his offense for the entire season could have helped to make things at least a little better.

Ultimately, the White Sox will never know what would have happened with a healthy roster. At the rate their struggles mounted, it still might have not made a difference in a season that got off on the wrong track and still has yet to recover.

Now the White Sox are looking at unloading assets while going into a rebuilding mode of undetermined levels, something that manager Robin Ventura is prepared to handle even if it wasn’t what he hoped for this year.

Ventura was asked if he was ready to handle a managing situation that was more about teaching without the same emphasis on winning.

“I don’t know if there is ever less emphasis on winning, but I get what you’re saying as far as having younger guys and being more of a teaching thing,” Ventura said. “It’s part of the job. We do that here, it’s just that you’re dealing with guys who are probably more advanced with what you’re teaching them. All these guys, even the staff, they have been around and been in situations where they can do that. If that’s the challenge, then that’s what you do. But right now, you’re dealing with these guys.”

Doug Padilla

Chicago White Sox beat reporter
Doug joined ESPN Chicago in July 2010 and covers the Chicago White Sox for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN Radio 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Chris Sale
WINS ERA SO IP
3 2.66 19 20
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Ramirez .415
HRJ. Abreu 4
RBIJ. Abreu 14
RA. Eaton 14
OPSA. Ramirez 1.126
ERAJ. Quintana 2.37
SOC. Sale 19