Tim Anderson of the White Sox singles during the third inning against the Royals on Monday. (Getty Images)
Tim Anderson needs three homers to become the fourth player in White Sox history to hit 100-plus homers and steal 100-plus bases, joining Minnie Minoso, Alexei Ramirez and Ray Durham, but the All-Star shortstop has just one homer since May 22 and six this season after averaging 16 over his previous five seasons.
Anderson (.314/.353/.413) has reached base in 16 straight games with an eight-game hitting streak through Tuesday. His production but lacking power reflects the Sox offense this season.
“Ball goes far, team goes far,” said general manager Rick Hahn, whose team was 52-51 going into Wednesday’s game against the Royals.
When the Sox hit a home run, they’re 37-25. When they hit two or more, they’re 17-3.
Anderson isn’t the only Sox not hitting the ball far. Jose Abreu leads the team with only 13, which ranks 69th on the major league leaderboard. Luis Robert (12) and Andrew Vaughn (10) are next. After hitting 23 in 93 games last season, Yasmani Grandal has two homers in 59 games.
Providing a glimmer of hope is Jimenez, who extended his hitting streak to nine games with a single in the first inning Wednesday, a streak that includes three homers. It’s what the Sox desperately need from him.
The Sox’ 90 home runs rank 25th in the majors. Last season, they were 11th with 190 with essentially the same team. They are third in hits, fourth in average and 17th in runs.
“This is a team that two years ago had three Silver Sluggers [in Anderson, Abreu, Eloy Jimenez],” Hahn said.
And maybe none this season.
The shortage of runs is “a byproduct of the lack of power, or not accessing the power that this lineup has,” Hahn said.
And playing in a hitters ballpark. Hit it out, and the runs will come.
“That’s kind of how it works a lot of the time,” Hahn said. “We know there’s that element in there. Hopefully we see more of it.”
Robert plan for Texas
Luis Robert was activated from the injured list Tuesday but likely won’t see his first action until Thursday when the team opens a four-game series at the Rangers.
Manager Tony La Russa said the plan for Robert is to DH Thursday, play center field Friday, rest Saturday and play center field Sunday.
Right fielder Gavin Sheets bruised his ankle banging into the wall in Tuesday’s 9-2 win over the Royals and was scratched from the lineup Wednesday. He is day-to-day.
“They worked on it, he’s less than 100 percent so I guess he can pinch-hit,” La Russa said.
AJ Pollock started in right field.
Source:: Chicago Sun Times
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