White Sox manager Tony La Russa told reporters, including Scott Merkin of MLB.com, that Tim Anderson will be back on the roster for tomorrow’s game, hitting leadoff and playing shortstop. Anderson has been on the injured list for about three weeks due to a groin injury. The corresponding move is not known at this time.
The return of Anderson figures to be a huge boost to the Pale Hose, as Anderson has established himself as one of their most important players in recent seasons. He even seemed to be finding another gear in this season’s early going, before being slowed by this injury situation. His 2022 batting line is currently .356/.393/.503, which amounts to a wRC+ of 161, 20 points beyond his previous career high. He’s also dropped his strikeout rate to a mere 11.6% after being between 21 and 23% in the previous three seasons.
Without Anderson around the past few weeks, the club has given most of the shortstop playing time to Danny Mendick, who has held his own admirably. Coming into tonight’s game, he’s hitting .284/.330/.455, 127 wRC+. That might be enough to keep him in the lineup even with Anderson’s return, by shuffling over to second base. Both Leury Garcia and Josh Harrison are having disappointing seasons, meaning that the team might ride the hot hand and bump those two to the side.
Despite dealing with a rash of injuries this year, the White Sox have managed to tread water in the American League postseason race. Their 31-32 record puts them just 4 1/2 games behind the Twins in the Central division and just three games back of a Wild Card spot. With Anderson back in the fold, that should make things a little less shaky going forward, and there could be some further reinforcements a little down the road. Closer Liam Hendriks hopes to be back by July 1, per Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times, and Eloy Jimenez could soon resume his rehab assignment, per James Fegan of The Athletic.