Pain-free, Hall returns to lineup
Backup catcher dispels persistent rumors of shoulder injury
CHICAGO -- Toby Hall stood confidently in the White Sox clubhouse Saturday, ready to put the rumors of a shoulder injury to rest.
Hall, who was in the starting lineup at catcher on Saturday for the first time since Aug. 16, said he felt a small twinge in his right shoulder after Monday's 13-5 win over the Mariners.
Had the pain been dealt on the field, it might not have caused the stir that it did, but Hall felt the twinge while attempting to hit Jermaine Dye with a shaving cream pie after the game, as it had become something of a tradition for the White Sox. Hall would regularly serve up a postgame pie to the game's hero or postgame interview subject.
Dye saw Hall coming, however, and deflected the shaving-cream barrage. The broadcast showed Hall wince in pain, and immediately the fears of another shoulder injury came to the fore.
It didn't help speculation any that Hall was wearing ice on the shoulder after the game.
"I always have ice on my shoulder as a preventative thing," Hall said. "But it happened to be that night where everyone's like, 'Oh, he has ice on his shoulder.' If they look at me every night, I have ice on my shoulder.
"It was just one of those scares. Just like anything -- if someone pulls their hamstring and all of a sudden you feel a little something, you want to be cautious."
It was caution that kept Hall out of the lineup Wednesday against the Mariners. When day games follow night games, Hall typically gets the start to spell A.J. Pierzynski, but that wasn't the case, so the rumors persisted.
"It was one of those things like any time you had a previous injury," Hall said. "It just caught me wrong and I was like, 'Oh jeez, a twinge.' You look at it and you say, 'Thank God, it wasn't worse.' It was one of those things where it just kind of scared me."
Hall had suffered an injury to the same shoulder during Spring Training in 2007. Hall was playing first base and separated his right shoulder while diving for a ground ball. He opted against surgery and returned to action in late May of that season.
As far as Hall is concerned, the postgame hijinks are on hold for now.
"Yea, I passed that on to [Nick Swisher], though," Hall said with a smile.
David Just is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.