Tim Anderson will miss 4-6 weeks due to a sagittal band tear on the middle finger of his left hand. Anderson suffered the tear on a check swing during the Texas Rangers series.
Many suspected something was amiss when Anderson was spotted at the airport away from the team. Those suspicion’s were confirmed when the White Sox shortstop was placed on the 10-day injured list before the second game of the White Sox doubleheader against the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday.
Timeline For Anderson’s Injury
Surgery is still a possibility for Anderson. The tear is on his lead hand when swinging the bat. If he returns too early and his finger is not at full strength, his production at the plate will be limited. There is a good chance he will miss the rest of the regular season.
If Anderson needs six weeks to recover, he won’t be ready to play until September 21st. He then would likely need a quick rehab stint to tune up his swing. If his recovery time goes longer than six weeks, he may not be able to get a rehab stint. The final game of the Charlotte Knights season is on September 28th.
The injury bug plagued the White Sox clubhouse in 2021. The hope was that things would be different this season, and a healthy roster would be the difference in getting the White Sox over the top. Unfortunately, that has not been the case. The injuries keep on coming.
Entering Tuesday’s slate of games, the Nationals, Mets, Rockies, and Orioles all have seven players on their roster that have played at least 90 games this season. Seven teams other teams have six players that have played at least 90 games this season. Before game one of Tuesday’s doubleheader, the White Sox only had one, Jose Abreu, the oldest player on the roster. The White Sox are the only team in the MLB without a crooked number in that department which puts into perspective how many injuries this team has suffered.
This injury seems to be bigger than the rest. The White Sox are in a crucial part of the schedule as they try to catch the Minnesota Twins for the lead in the American League Central division standings. They must take advantage of this soft part of the schedule.
With Anderson set to miss approximately six weeks, the White Sox must replace their leadoff hitter, shortstop, and spark plug on offense. This will be a tall task.
Through 79 games this season, Anderson is batting .301 with six home runs, 25 RBIs, and 13 doubles. Despite the .301 batting average, this has been considered a “down year” for Anderson. The White Sox have been spoiled by the former batting champion’s production the past three seasons.
AJ Pollock is the best candidate to fill the hole at the top of the lineup. Pollock is quietly batting .418 in leadoff spots.Filling the hole at shortstop is a bit more complicated. Lenyn Sosa was called up from Triple-A Charlotte on August 7th.
Limited Options At Shortstop
The 22-year-old is a shortstop by trade with 254 minor league games under his belt. Given the way Josh Harrison has been swinging the bat, Tony La Russa would be wise to keep him at second base and have Sosa handle the bulk of the duties at shortstop. However, Sosa has yet to see a game at shortstop in the major leagues. All his playing time has come at second base to this point in his career.
Much to the chagrin of White Sox fans, Leury Garcia will likely see a healthy chunk of time at shortstop. He has played 15 games there this season and appeared there 89 times during his ten years in the show. Garcia is a fine utility player to have to make a few spot starts and plug some holes throughout the season, but trusting him to play shortstop for six weeks could be a recipe for trouble. Out of the six positions that Garcia can play on the diamond, shortstop is arguably his worst.
This season he has committed four errors there and has a lifetime .958 fielding percentage at short. This is the lowest mark out of all six positions he can play. The highest being his .978 mark at second base. But once again, Josh Harrison and his .300 batting average and three home runs over the last 15 games should be starting at second base.
Riding with an unproven Sosa or an unreliable Garcia put Tony La Russa and the White Sox in a difficult position. A bad season is on the brink of becoming much worse unless the rest of the lineup can pick up the slack.