Anderson, Giolito still see bright days ahead for White Sox

The White Sox were supposed to be playing the Red Sox in Boston this weekend.

That was the original schedule, but like just about everything else, the coronavirus pandemic has placed it on pause.

This was the season the Sox have been building toward for over three years, and they are still excited to get it going.

Instead of being at shortstop at Fenway Park, White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson is holed up in Arizona with his wife Bria and two daughters.

"Just doing as much as I can at home," said Anderson, who led the major leagues with a .335 batting average last year. "I kind of just do some workouts that I have on my own, at home, outside. Just trying to stay fresh in that way as much as I can and doing as much as I can while at home.

"For the most part, I stayed in Arizona to enjoy the heat and kind of stay out of the cold. That's why I didn't come back to Chicago."

When the Sox do return to Guaranteed Rate Field and start playing baseball, the same goal will remain.

"We're going to be ready," Anderson said. "Keep that same mindset of what happened or what we're going through. Regardless of how many games we play, we're going to be ready to take the field."

Lucas Giolito stayed in Arizona until late February before getting in the car and driving home to Southern California.

Like Anderson, the White Sox's No. 1 starter is doing everything he can to get ready for baseball again.

Since he had to stop to get gas on trip home, Giolito and his wife Ariana put themselves "kind of in that self-quarantine mode."

"Just kind of maintaining and trying to stay on the good path while we kind of wait this out," Giolito said. "Just trying to be as cautious as possible. We were at gas stations and I know those are hot spots. I don't want to be responsible for infecting anyone else or getting infected or anything like that.

"Right now, I'm just staying at home, cooking. We've got a meals delivery plan. We've got all the stuff we need. And I basically have a home gym set up in my garage. I have a net in my backyard and I'm monitoring throwing, counting and all that stuff, to make sure I'm maintaining where I need to be."

When major-league baseball resumes remains a mystery, but there has been some speculation games will begin at spring training stadiums in Arizona and Florida with no fans.

Giolito strongly prefers pitching at Guaranteed Rate Field and other major-league venues in front of packed crowds, but he understands these are much different days and is more than willing to adapt until things get back to normal.

Anderson has the same mindset.

"We know that (playing in empty stadiums) is going to be a possibility, so I'm prepared," Anderson said. "Thinking about it, I guess I'll just have to go out of the way to bring energy. It's just putting yourself in a different mindframe. It will be different but now that we have time to think about it, I'm sure I'll be prepared when the time does come. I adjust to a lot of stuff easily, so I'm sure that won't be a problem."

Fans or no fans, the Sox are confident they'll be ready to compete when it finally is go time.

"Speaking as a member of the team and what I was witnessing around camp and what I've kind of gathered from talking to guys, I think we're just going to pick right back up where we left off," Giolito said. "We were in a very good spot when things did come to abrupt end there. But when things do resume, I think that we're just going to pick up where we were. We had a very good team collective mindset and we're not going to let this pause to what we were doing affect what we're building toward in a negative way."

Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Lucas Giolito is working to stay ready for baseball. "I basically have a home gym set up in my garage, he said. "I have a net in my backyard and I'm monitoring throwing, counting and all that stuff, to make sure I'm maintaining where I need to be." Associated Press
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