White Sox

Camp Chatter: Cutler backs Sanzenbacher, injury update

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Camp Chatter: Cutler backs Sanzenbacher, injury update

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Cleaning out the notebook late Monday

Dane Sanzenbacher has a stiff challenge to make the 2012 Bears, and the signing of Rashied Davis to a one-year deal Monday didnt make the task any easier. Davis is a top special-teams player, which backups routinely need to be and which Sanzenbacher is not.

But Sanzenbacher does have a very strong voice speaking for him in decision meetings.

You watch the film on Dane and you have to keep him, from a quarterbacks perspective, said quarterback Jay Cutler. I know theres numbers, and hes got to contribute with coordinator Dave Toub and the special-teams group. But every single day hes come out, hes catching balls. Hes doing what hes supposed to do. Hes going to be hard to let go if we have to.

Sick bay

Linebacker Brian Urlacher did not practice for the fifth straight day, this time for personal reasons, and he is not expected to play Thursday against Denver. Linebacker Jabara Williams (hamstring) also was out along with defensive tackle DeMario Pressley, whose right foot was in a walking boot.

The latest scare of camp (after Brandon Marshall and Devin Hester were shaken up on successive days a week ago) came Monday afternoon when rookie defensive end Shea McClellin went down and limped off the field with a leg problem. He returned several minutes later and finished practice without incident.

Power moves

Stephen Paea continues to make his presence felt at the No. 1 nose tackle spot, where he has played with a notable mix of power and speed not usually seen at the position. The emphasis was on power during Tuesdays pass-rush drills.

Working with Julius Peppers, Paea drove into left tackle JMarcus Webb and drove Webb and guard Chris Spencer backwards as Peppers looped around behind Paea and in unobstructed on the target quarterback.

Paea is listed at nose tackle now but was drafted as a potential three-technique and could combine with Henry Melton to give the Bears their best defensive-tackle tandem since the best days of Tommie Harris and Tank Johnson in 2005-2006.

If all goes well, Yoan Moncada could be back with White Sox this week

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USA TODAY

If all goes well, Yoan Moncada could be back with White Sox this week

Yoan Moncada's return to the White Sox could come as soon as Thursday.

The White Sox third baseman has been on the injured list for the entire month of August while recovering from a hamstring strain, but he could be back in the everyday lineup soon, according to manager Rick Renteria, who provided an update to reporters Monday in Minnesota.

Heading into Monday, Moncada has played three games on his current rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte, only one of which at third base. He went 4-for-12 in those three games, with a home run, two RBIs, a run scored and a pair of strikeouts.

Moncada's return to the lineup for the start of this weekend's four-game set with the Texas Rangers would be a big lift for the White Sox offense. He's been the team's best hitter this season, with a .301/.358/.535 slash line to go along with 20 home runs and 59 RBIs in 97 games.

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Tim Anderson's late summer surge

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USA TODAY

Tim Anderson's late summer surge

A stands for April. A stands for August.

A stands for Anderson.

Just as Tim Anderson torched pitching in the season’s initial month, he’s at it again here in late summer.

Anderson’s 30 hits in 17 August games are tied with Gio Urshela for the MLB lead (entering Monday), and he’s hitting a remarkable .411 for the month. What makes it even more remarkable is that the .411 includes an 0-for-8 in a doubleheader last week against the Astros. If you took that away, he’s hitting .500.

Anderson is riding a streak of five consecutive multi-hit games; it’s the third time this season he had multiple hits in at least four straight games. He had four straight multi-hit performances earlier this month as well as from March 31-April 7.

Whereas Tim took home American League Player of the Month honors for March-April, he’s even ahead of that pace for August in some respects.

  Games BA Multi-hit games
March-April 23 .375 9
August 17 .411 10

But how is he doing it?

He’s cutting down on his strikeouts.

2019 strikeout rate

  K %
March-July 21.5
August 14.5

And when he’s swinging at balls in the zone, he’s not missing.

Contact% of balls in zone

  Zone Contact %
March-July 87.9
August 93.3

He has been particularly deadly against breaking stuff.

2019 vs. breaking pitches

  Batting Avg. Slugging
March-July .291 .437
August .500 (11-22) .636

And he has returned to his lefty-crushing ways.

2019 vs. lefties

  Batting Avg
March-July .287 (23-80)
August .480 (12-25)

When Anderson suffered a high ankle sprain on June 25 in Boston, it was uncertain as to whether he’d be able to build on a breakout 2019 season. He showed signs of rust when he went 0-for-7 in his first two games back July 30-31 against the Mets. But it’s looking more and more like he just needed a few games to shake the rust off. Conveniently, his return to form coincides with the change of month. Let’s be honest, the fact that it’s August has nothing to do with anything.

 

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