Tim Anderson returned to the White Sox lineup, missing just one game after getting hit in the hand with a pitch during Thursday’s game in Detroit.
Anderson sat out Friday’s series-opener against the visiting Baltimore Orioles at U.S. Cellular Field but was back at the top of manager Robin Ventura’s lineup for Saturday’s game. Anderson’s hand healed enough that he could grip a bat and squeeze his glove at shortstop.
“(Friday) I was just in the training room, just about from the time I got here up until gametime, and I got in pretty early today,” Anderson explained. “I got in the training room today and went out and swung, and I feel fine.
“Yesterday, I couldn't grip (the bat), but today was the day where I could grip it real good.”
Friday, Anderson had a large wrap on his hand, and Ventura reported his shortstop couldn’t grip a bat. But those problems were gone Saturday, with Anderson saying his hand was at about 90-percent health.
“He can hold onto the bat,” Ventura said. “You just get a little concerned, I think, when he goes out there and he can’t hold the bat properly. Even the other day, diving back into first, you get nervous about putting him out there and hurting something else. He feels ready to go, and you can get him back in there.”
Certainly Anderson getting drilled in the hand Thursday had the White Sox and their fans holding their collective breath. X-rays came back negative, prompting a sigh of relief, but it was yet another stroke of bad luck for a White Sox rookie this season. Four rookies have already suffered serious injuries: Kevan Smith, Jason Coats, Matt Davidson and Charlie Tilson.
The White Sox are just happy Anderson didn’t become the latest to sustain that kind of injury.
“Yeah, it is kind of scary, but I kind of had a feeling that it wasn't anything serious,” Anderson said. “It was just sore. In 2014, I got hit on the wrist and broke my wrist, and it wasn't that same feeling.
“I kind of knew it wasn't as bad as then.”
With Anderson healthy enough to return to the lineup, Ventura deployed a similar strategy to the one he did Thursday in Detroit: Anderson hitting leadoff, Melky Cabrera batting second and Adam Eaton hitting third.
“The other day we put it in there, it seemed to work pretty good with TA at the top, he can run a little bit. And you get Melky there, as well. And you surround those guys with some different people,” Ventura said. “It also just looks different, and I think for those guys, they seem to like it the way it lines up.
“We did it the other day in Detroit, and when TA got hit, that changed that somewhat. So we’re going to run it out there again.”