Anderson comes off IL, gives White Sox offense instant jolt
The White Sox-Indians game scheduled for Wednesday night at Progressive Field in Cleveland was postponed due to cold weather and poor field conditions.
That was good news for the Sox's overworked pitching staff.
Before the game was called off and rescheduled as part of a straight doubleheader on May 31, the White Sox had not announced a starting pitcher to replace Lance Lynn, who is on the disabled list with a strained right trapezius.
Calling up Jonathan Stiever from the Schaumburg training site to start against the Indians was an option, as was a bullpen game. Now, with a scheduled day off Thursday, the Sox can reset the rotation and the relievers get some needed rest.
For Tim Anderson, any break in the schedule is not good news.
After missing eight games with a strained left hamstring, Anderson returned to the lineup last Thursday and singled in his first at-bat.
"You can't replicate him," manager Tony La Russa said. "He's one of the best players in the game."
Coming out swinging off the injured list was just the start for Anderson.
The White Sox's star shortstop has hit safely in all five games since rejoining the lineup, going 10-for-23 with 2 solo home runs.
When Anderson was sidelined, the Sox's offense struggled to score runs. Since he's been back in the leadoff spot, they are starting to heat up.
"For things to be clicking for me, there are really no words when I come to the ballpark because I know what I can do," Anderson said, "I know what I'm capable of. It's more so just believing it. And being in the mix with such a great group of guys, it's definitely an honor to be able to lead them and to bring that energy and that spark to the team.
"I'm definitely going to just fit right back in, like I've been there, and continue to push."
When he was injured and unable to push, Anderson made the most of the down time.
"Just from watching the game and knowing myself, it gave me the opportunity to watch the game and learn," he said. "And mess around with the things I've got going to where I do come back and feel good. I was able to also stay in tune with my swing and my defensive work. I did a lot of studying and I felt good."
The hot streak off the IL has boosted Anderson's batting average to .342, which would rank eighth in the American League if he had enough plate appearances.
Anderson was the 2019 AL batting champ, and he finished second last season.
Now healthy and getting back up to speed, he is again on track to show he's one of the best hitters in baseball.
"I know what I can do," the 27-year-old Anderson said. "I know what type of player I am. No matter who is on the mound, I know what I can do in the box. Just a different level of confidence, and that just allows me to continue to be myself and have fun with it."