White Sox can cover shortstop without Tim Anderson, but…

There isn’t really a silver lining for losing Tim Anderson for any stretch of time, and the stretch of time seems like it’ll be considerable when a player isn’t able to put weight on his foot leaving the field like Anderson did on Tuesday. Anderson’s season had proven the value of reps, even after the buzz from his all-world April had faded.

Regression during May (.696 OPS) reduced some of the shine from his start (1.009 OPS), but June seemed to be about stabilization. His middle ground is loamy with shortcomings — zero walks to 20 strikeouts, which limited his ability to steal bases, plus a problematic amount of errors — but the power returned, the improvement in his hit tool is hanging around, and he still makes stunning plays on the edges of his wider-than-normal range. That’s an occasionally frustrating shortstop, but also a player teams can use, rebuilding or not. The in-season resilience and better plate appearances are the result of hundreds of bad ones the previous seasons, proving the power of taking metaphorical lumps.

There isn’t much power in taking a physical lump like this, even if the White Sox have ways to cover the position. Assuming Yolmer Sánchez recovers from his illness in a timely fashion, he, Leury García and José Rondón can give the Sox adequate support at the two middle-infield positions, and Jon Jay’s return frees up García for more shortstop duty if needed. If Rick Renteria would like to resume using García as a full-time center fielder, Danny Mendick is a decent use of both a 25-man roster spot, and the 40-man one he’d also require.

I’d be a little intrigued by one last burst of regular playing time for Rondón, because his plate appearances have improved in June after a lot of non-competitive strikeouts over the first two months. He’s drawn four walks to five strikeouts over 33 plate appearances this month. It’s obscured by the lack of success (5-for-28), and perhaps the quality of contact will never come back, but there’s a little bit to be gained from giving him one last big look. I’d like to see that little bit before adding Mendick to the roster, because they cover the same positions from the same side of the plate, and they’re both potentially counterproductive uses of a 40-man roster spot next season if you don’t fully know what either player offers.

The White Sox seem likely to play a game short, then fully evaluate their options during Thursday’s off day. Alas, none of these options compare to letting Anderson play every day and better understanding his final form. It’s a little trite to say “here’s hoping,” but when one of the success stories of a lopsided rebuilding season goes down, hope has to do a disproportionate amount of lifting.

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Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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lil jimmy

Give Jose Rondon a hard look. Three weeks to prove his worth. He’s on the back edge of the 40 man.

Right Size Wrong Shape

Laz Rivera’s disappointing first half really underscores the lack of depth in the organization at this position.


So you’re sleeping on Alcides Escobar then?



Right Size Wrong Shape



High Ankle sprain. He’s in a walking boot.
Hopefully his ankles have Jimenez level regeneration powers.

Yolmer's gatorade

I’d guess 2-3 weeks of rest and a week of a rehab assignment. Enough time to give Rondon or Mendick a good look. I’d prefer Mendick because Rondon has been pretty bad this year.


The primary goal of the rest of the 2019 season is to protect Yoan Moncada from suffering a high ankle sprain, as that injury threatens to be the defining feature of this year’s team.


I agree with giving Rondon an extended look but I wouldn’t bring up Mendick to have him sit while Rondon plays. Better to add Escobar or Goins for a couple weeks.

Also, the 40-man is at 40 so someone needs to be DFA’d so I’d assume Caleb Frare would be the odd man out. Then there’s Yonder…

Lurker Laura

If TA’s injury is what gets Yonder DFA’d (to make room for Mendick or Escobar or Goins), then maybe there’s a silver lining after all.


My back of the napkin math suggests that the Sox need to keep Alonso for about 20-25 more games without playing him to avoid the following from occurring:

2020 Vesting Option includes a $1M buyout, vests with:
550 PA in 2019 or 1,100 across 2018-19

He currently has 250 PA over 66 games and 574 from last year


Cleveland should just to drive the knife a bit deeper


Sox currently have 12 pitchers.
Anderson to the DL allows a return to 13, while rolling with what’s already up there on the offensive side.


I would prefer to see Escobar get the call, giving him several weeks to reestablish his value to a contender for a trade deadline deal, perhaps paired with a reliever to increase return.  Until then, Escobar could provide veteran plus defense at three positions, benefitting SOX staff.  

Rondon should be playing every day in the minors to get his stroke back.  Nows the time to rearrange the roster, sending him down while DFA’ing Alonso & Castillo for Escobar, Palka and Detweiler before the Twins series.

Right Size Wrong Shape

Rondon’s out of options, and no one’s trading for Escobar.


Escobar has no value to reestablish. He has been a replacement level player for years.

Greg Nix

The occasional sighting of Alcides Escobar stans is the most baffling part of this season. 


I vote Luis Robert. Move Garcia to SS


According to Mark Gonzales on twitter, Vaughn has signed. Slot value.


White Sox, first-round pick Andrew Vaughn agree to $7.2212 million bonus

— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) June 26, 2019


Well timed.


Now to avoid a distressingly average turn at Kannapolis.