The White Sox announced a series of roster moves Wednesday in conjunction with September roster expansion (from 26 to 28 players). Infielder/outfielder Jake Lamb has been designated for assignment, with shortstop Tim Anderson landing on the 10-day injured list (retroactive to Aug. 29) with a strained left hamstring. The White Sox have also reinstated Billy Hamilton from the injured list, recalled infielder/outfielder Gavin Sheets and righty Matt Foster from Triple-A Charlotte, and (as previously covered here) selected the contract of utilityman Romy Gonzalez from Charlotte.
Lamb, 30, was an All-Star with the Diamondbacks in 2017 and slugged 59 round-trippers as their everyday third baseman from 2016-17. Shoulder injuries, which culminated in surgery to repair his rotator cuff, derailed his 2018-20 seasons, however. He had a nice showing with the A’s late in 2020 but hasn’t been the same player since those shoulder troubles arose.
That’s largely been the case so far in 2021, too. Lamb missed a bit more than a month with strained quadriceps earlier this summer, but even when healthy he’s been a somewhat seldom-used bench option, appearing in 43 games and tallying 131 trips to the plate. Lamb’s current .212/.321/.389 line in that time is an improvement over recent seasons but nowhere near the .248/.345/.498 pace at which he hit during that brief peak in Arizona. He’ll be placed on outright waivers or released in the coming days.
Anderson, 28, has missed the White Sox’ last three games with what the team described as general soreness in his legs, but it now appears there’s a more accurate diagnosis of what has been hobbling him. The Sox didn’t provide a timeline for his return, but they’ve had the American League Central locked down for months now, so they can afford to be cautious with his recovery. The 2019 AL batting champ is in the midst of another strong season, hitting .302/.331/.458 with 14 home runs and 17 stolen bases.
Hamilton, Sheets and Foster have all been with the Sox at various points in the 2021 season. Hamilton has had a pair of IL stints and hasn’t produced at the plate, but his speed and glovework in the outfield remain elite. Sheets hit just .225 with a .293 OBP when he was promoted for his big league debut earlier this summer, but he also ripped six homers and five doubles in 99 plate appearances — good for a .483 slugging percentage. Foster has been hit hard this season, evidenced by a 5.67 ERA in 33 1/3 innings, but he posted a 2.20 ERA with outstanding K-BB numbers through 28 2/3 frames in 2020.