The White Sox have placed shortstop Tim Anderson on the 10-day injured list with a strained right groin, according to James Fegan of The Athletic. In turn, they’ve recalled catcher Yermin Mercedes to fill Anderson’s roster spot. It will be Mercedes’s first foray in the Majors after nearly a decade in pro ball.
Anderson, 27, is the reigning American League batting champion, and he picked up where he left off. Through the young season’s first seven games, Anderson has slashed .333/.355/.567 with seven runs scored. The White Sox leadoff man is a big part of their offensive attack, but his effectiveness would be severely limited with a strained groin. Considering the role speed plays in Anderson’s game both with the bat and in the field, Chicago will want to do their best to get him fully up to speed before returning to the diamond.
In his absence, Leury Garcia can slide over to shortstop from the keystone. It’s a small bit of serendipity that the White Sox only just purchased the contract of highly-regarded prospect Nick Madrigal to take over at second base. Garcia has been the primary second baseman thus far while also appearing in right field and at shortstop. He doesn’t bring much to the dish, however, as a career .256/.291/.359 hitter. Danny Mendick, 26, could also help fill the void at shortstop. Garcia and Madrigal make up the middle infield in tonight’s ballgame against the Royals.
Mercedes, 27, started in professional baseball as a catcher with the Nationals back in 2011. After a pitstop with the Baltimore Orioles, Mercedes has spent the last two seasons in the White Sox organization. He can play anywhere on the four corners, finishing last season in Triple-A with a triple slash of .310/.386/.647 with 17 home runs in just 220 plate appearances. He brings some potential with the stick but finding him a position has been much of the struggle in recent seasons. He’s not likely to get a lot of playing time in Chicago, not with designated hitter options like Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Abreu, James McCann, Yasmani Grandal, Zack Collins, and Eloy Jimenez already vying for at-bats.