Tim Anderson strained his groin on Sunday at home against the Cubs. What looked like a rather ordinary play for Tim Anderson turned out to be a huge blow to the entire organization. While any time on the IL for any team’s best player is less than ideal, the Sox desperately need Anderson. A long IL stay from the shortstop could prove to be the nail in the coffin for a team who thus far has vastly underperformed.
The 2022 Chicago White Sox looked scary on paper before the 2022 season began. Today they look quite different. Things went from bad to worse for Sox fans Sunday afternoon when Anderson went down in shallow left field. The initial diagnosis is a strained groin and hopefully, the Sox do not receive worse than expected news at a later date.
The Sox leadoff hitter is the only White Sox player currently with a batting average over .300 at a whopping .356, and only two other everyday players are over .250. Currently, Luis Robert is at .285 and Andrew Vaughn is at .267 although for some reason Vaughn does not play every day. The Sox are at .500 as of today with a 23-23 mark through 46 games. Vaughn, who is slashing .267/.319/.457, has played in 30 games. In comparison, Leury Garcia has played in 35 and is currently slashing .190/.200/.276. While they do not play the same position and Garcia is more versatile, Vaughn should be getting more at-bats.
The Sox desperately need Anderson at the top of their lineup regardless of who fills the other eight spots. Anderson consistently provides a spark for an offense who otherwise has none. The schedule the Sox have upcoming beginning tonight in Toronto will not do them any favors. The next three opponents for the Sox include the Blue Jays (27-20), the Rays (28-20), and the Dodgers (33-15).
While the Sox starting pitching has been decent, the team ranks just 16th in team ERA at an even 4.00. If the Sox cannot find a way to replace Anderson’s offense while he is away they will need the pitching to be elite during his absence and that is to just stay afloat. The Sox are currently 5.0 games back of the Minnesota Twins. While the rest of the division is not an imminent threat, if the White Sox are not careful, the Twins could take off and leave the Sox behind fighting for a wild card. While the Twins are ten games over .500 currently their schedule will also prove difficult in the coming days. They have upcoming series with the Blue Jays, Rays, and Yankees. While the Yankees have cooled off a bit since the Sox last saw them, they are still very good and could help the Sox with a sweep of the Twins.
No, you cannot win a division in early June, but the Sox could lose one if the offense continues to be completely dormant. They will have to score these next few series if they want to compete.
With Luis Robert set to return at some point in Toronto, the offense may have to lean on him to get things going. The 2022 Chicago White Sox staring lineup was not supposed to look like this heading into a series opener in Toronto against a good Blue Jays club.
If The Sox want any chance at competing for the Central again in 2022 they will have to get the offense going and pitch flawlessly, especially amid Tim Anderson’s absence. Danny Mendick will almost certainly split the shortstop duties with Leury Garcia while Anderson heals up, so Sox fans should pray TA7 heals quickly! That is in no way a knock on Danny Mendick!
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