A technicality will prevent the White Sox from replacing Tim Anderson for three games this weekend while he attends the funeral of a close friend.
Because Branden Moss wasn’t an immediate family member, the White Sox are unable to place Anderson on the bereavement list for while he’s gone.
Anderson plans to rejoin the White Sox when they arrive in Southern California on Monday. But until then, the White Sox will only suit up 24 players. Were Anderson eligible for the bereavement list, the White Sox could promote anyone on the 40-man roster while he’s absent. Even though they’re playing a man down, White Sox players and coaches are pleased with how the organization is helping Anderson at a most difficult time.
“First and foremost, Tim has all our support,” first baseman Jose Abreu said through an interpreter. “I think that the White Sox really understand how important is our lives off the field, and that’s something we have to appreciate because I don’t think everybody has that understanding for us as players. That’s very important for us because we are human beings. We have things off the field, too. I really appreciate that for our team.”
Anderson said late Thursday he’s been grateful to have his teammates around this week. Moss, 23, was shot and killed early Sunday. A longtime friend, Moss was the godfather to Anderson’s daughter, Peyton, and vice versa Anderson for Moss’ child.
Teammates initially gave Anderson his space on Sunday and later have tried to help him handle the grieving process. Third baseman Todd Frazier said he’s glad Anderson can be there to help remember Moss with family and friends.
“Life keeps moving and you want to remember all the good things about the special people you had bonds with,” Frazier said. “It’s a sad time and some people want people around them and some people don’t and you give them their space. I feel bad for him because people that truly mean that much to you, you really feel for them.
“That first day we gave him as much space as possible and gave him his time. A couple days later he kind of warmed up a little bit. But these next couple of days are going to be a tough time for him. We pray for him and the family that lost their child. It affects everybody. It’s real sad.”
Manager Rick Renteria isn’t concerned with how Anderson’s absence will affect the White Sox on the field. The team has several potential replacement candidates at shortstop to fill the void. Leury Garcia started Friday’s game and both Tyler Saladino and Yolmer Sanchez could see time over the weekend, too.
The most important aspect is taking care of Anderson, Renteria said.
“It's good of the organization to understand the relationship that he had with his friend,” Renteria said. “It was a very close bond. It's a good thing actually, the organization understands and is allowing to be able to be there with the family.
“In this instance, I think the club truly recognized that this was someone that was very, very close to Tim. Like I said, good for the organization for doing something like that for him. Yeah, we're going to be one short, but that's OK. We'll deal with it.”