The Chicago White Sox were trying to keep their momentum going this week, looking to finish off a three-game sweep against the Cleveland Guardians on Thursday afternoon. However, a costly Tim Anderson error gave Cleveland just enough of an opening late in the game, to salvage the series finale, beating the White Sox 3-1.
White Sox starter Dylan Cease was cruising, allowing just one run through six innings, as he pitch count was only in the 70s to begin the seventh inning. However, the righty got into a jam, following a single from Will Brennan and a double off the bat of Gabriel Arias, who homered in the fifth inning.
With the game tied at one run apiece and one out, the White Sox had their infield in with two runners in scoring position. Cease was able to get a weakly hit grounder from Brayan Rocchio, but Anderson could not field the ball cleanly, allowing the go-ahead run to score from third base. It was a pretty rough play from the White Sox shortstop, who did have a great play earlier on, but also botched a pair of double play chances.
No question about it, this was bad, as Anderson would have gotten the runner out at home.
That error not only let a run score, but it put runners at first and third with still one out in the inning and then the Guardians added one more run with an RBI-single to left field.
For a while, Anderson was ridiculed for his defense, especially after a brutal 2017 season. However, from 2018-21, Anderson graded out on the positive end for defensive shortstops according to Outs Above Average. However, since the start of the 2022 season, Anderson’s defense has dipped toward the negative end of that metric.
And oh boy could you hear the joy clear as day coming from Cleveland Guardians announcer Tom Hamilton after Anderson’s error in the seventh inning. Take a listen.
Sadly, more White Sox fans are saying the same thing nowadays about their starting shortstop. Couple that with Anderson’s bad year at the plate and it certainly looks like some fans are running out of patience with the two-time, All-Star shortstop.
Anderson has been limited to 116 plate appearances this season, missing time with a knee injury in April. Overall, the shortstop is slashing .264/.302/.309, that’s only been good for a 70 wRC+. Anderson came back from the injured list on May 2, and after Thursday’s game, he’s only 15-for-63 at the plate, a .238 batting average, while his on-base percentage has remained below .300 throughout the month of May.
There have been signs that Anderson is getting back into a groove, as he now has a five-game hitting streak, going 8-for-23. However, they have all been singles and Anderson, who had some pop between 2019-21, still hasn’t homered in 2023 and only has five doubles this season.
Take into account that Anderson’s last game in 2022 was on Aug. 6, but he has three total home runs since the beginning of May of 2022.
I hate to say it – but trade him and get a bag of balls and chalk for the baselines at this point. He obviously doesn’t want to be in Chicago any longer and his body language is showing it – and it’s not like Jerry is gonna give him his payday after next season that he will be looking for. Don’t get me wrong – he’s been one of my fav players since he came up – but – at this point, get something for him rather than nothing when he walks after the 24 season.
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I said, before the season, that Elvis was a better SS and showed it while Anderson was out.