Tim Anderson's status beyond having an ankle sprain is still unknown as the White Sox await the results of an MRI.
The South Side shortstop sparked fears among fans when he was helped off the field with an ankle injury during Tuesday night's game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Anderson landed awkwardly while throwing on the run on the rain-soaked infield in Boston. He fell to the ground in pain and needed assistance getting off the field, to the dugout and into the clubhouse. He was slated for an MRI early Wednesday in Boston as the White Sox for prepping for the series finale against former mate Chris Sale.
Anderson was reported as being in a walking boot Wednesday. The team announced Tuesday night that X-rays were negative and that he had been diagnosed with an ankle sprain. While the injury could still lead to a long layoff, that was a bit of good news, at least, but his long-term status is still unknown.
Manager Rick Renteria had little in the way of new information when he spoke to reporters Tuesday night and against Wednesday morning, but he acknowledged that Anderson is in all likelihood heading to the injured list.
"He's getting checked out still today," Renteria said. "Probably, in all likelihood, he goes on the injured list. In terms of how long it is, we don't know yet. We know that further examination will give us more information."
In another rebuilding season, losing Anderson for an extended period of time wouldn't figure to be the difference between the White Sox being in a playoff race or not come the end of the regular season. But it certainly wouldn't be good for the long-term future of the team, which has looked capable of starting to open its contention window as soon as the 2020 season, as Anderson would figure to have to spend a significant amount of time working his way back from a significant injury.
As for what Renteria and the White Sox will do in the short term, the manager said he can lean on the versatile Leury Garcia, as well as Jose Rondon, to fill the hole at shortstop. Garcia has been the White Sox everyday center fielder all season long but has the versatility to play on the infield. Rondon has disappointed offensively but could be considered the proverbial "next man up" if Anderson misses any time. Renteria could also mix and match, playing Garcia both in the outfield and on the infield and using other reserves elsewhere. The return of Jon Jay helps the White Sox in this case, too.
"Right now, I'm looking to use Leroy there for a little bit," Renteria told reporters Wednesday in Boston. "Obviously he's very capable of playing shortstop. And quite honestly, might give him a little break. His legs have been barking a little bit, it might help him out a little bit to bring him into the infield. We'll be able to use (Ryan) Cordell and (Charlie Tilson) in the outfield, and then we'll see how we mix in the DH spot for all of these guys, try to give them as many at-bats as possible. That's the adjustment we'll make at the moment."
It's still a scary time for the team and the fan base as all parties await the news on Anderson.
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