Help is on the way.
The White Sox are off to a 3-12 start since the All-Star break, thanks in part to their struggling offense. They’ve suffered the loss of Tim Anderson - out since June 28 with a sprained right ankle - and Eloy Jimenez - out since July 17 with a right ulnar nerve contusion - and in the weeks since resuming play after the break, the White Sox have been shut out twice and scored just one or two runs in a game eight times.
But both Anderson and Jimenez look set to return to the active roster soon.
Anderson has been on a rehab assignment in Triple-A Charlotte since July 24, and in three starts he's gone 5-for-13. Manager Rick Renteria said that the plan is for Anderson to play in Charlotte for at least two more games.
"He’s going to go ahead and DH again, play tomorrow [Sunday] and have the natural off-day Monday," Renteria said prior to Saturday's game against the Twins.
Renteria said that all reports from Charlotte on how Anderson is feeling have been positive. The White Sox start a series at home against the Mets on Tuesday, so Anderson looks to be in line to rejoin the team next week.
Jimenez has stayed in Chicago during his time on the injured list, and his return also looks imminent. Before Saturday's game, he took two rounds of batting practice and spent time throwing in the outfield.
"Everything feels pretty good, pretty normal," Jimenez said after his second round of BP. "Now it’s just maybe a couple more days and be back to the field."
Neither Renteria nor Jimenez had much specific to say about when the outfielder might be back on the active roster, but Renteria said that he doesn't believe Jimenez will need any rehab games before coming back.
"He’s been able to manage everything here and it hasn’t been really that long in terms of time," Renteria said. "It would be nice to get him some at-bats [in the minors] but he’s swinging and doing everything he can right now."
Both players coming back to the lineup would undoubtedly help right the ship of what has started off as a disastrous second half for the White Sox. Anderson was an All-Star candidate before getting injured, batting .317 with 11 home runs and 14 doubles through his first 70 games. And Jimenez, who took some time finding his power early in the season, hit .284 in June and had hit 3 home runs in July despite batting for a lower average. The rest of the lineup has undoubtedly felt their absence, especially as they have struggled to win games.
"For everybody on the team, it’s definitely frustrating because we had a really good first half, and now we’re a little bit struggling," Jimenez said. "But I know it’s going to be back."
When assessing the correlation between losing those two players and the team's struggles since the break, Renteria was quick to praise the players called upon to replace Anderson and Jimenez, but there's no question that getting both players back will make the White Sox better.
In the meantime, the losses are piling up since the break and threatening to undo the positive momentum of going nearly .500 in the first half.
"They know how to deal with it on a nightly basis," Renteria said of how his team is handling this rough stretch. "We haven’t had an issue of effort, we’ve just had some situations in which we haven’t had both sides of the ball coming together at the same time over the last few weeks."
All signs point to both Anderson and Jimenez returning by next week's series against the Mets, and the hope on the south side is that having them back gets the offense on a much-needed roll.Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.