White Sox

More drama as Tim Anderson gets hit by pitch in first plate appearance vs. Royals since benches-clearing incident

More drama as Tim Anderson gets hit by pitch in first plate appearance vs. Royals since benches-clearing incident

The drama — intentional or not — between Tim Anderson and the Kansas City Royals won’t slow down.

It was on April 13 against these Royals that Anderson got thrust into baseball’s national spotlight, flipping his bat in celebration of a home run, then hit by a pitch in his next plate appearance to set off a benches-clearing incident and stir up the conversation about the game’s old- and new-school attitudes. There was also Anderson’s use of a racially charged word that earned him a one-game suspension.

Well, Anderson didn’t get to see the Royals much during the first two games of this week’s series on the South Side, limited to one pinch-running appearance while nursing a wrist injury. But he was back in the lineup Wednesday night and was almost immediately greeted with a rude welcome from the visitors.

First, a little more backstory. In the top half of the second inning, Reynaldo Lopez lost control of a 95 mph fastball that nearly hit Royals third baseman Hunter Dozier right in the face. Players have been hit in the face before, but this had the looks of one of those “it could have killed him” pitches, even if that might be a tad hyperbolic. Bottom line: It was really scary. Thank goodness Dozier was able to get out of the way.

Well, in the bottom half of the inning, Royals pitcher Glenn Sparkman faced a batter — Eloy Jimenez led off the inning with a single — before his own pitch ended up near the head of an opposing batter. That batter was Anderson, in his first plate appearance against the Royals since April 13.

Sparkman’s 86 mph changeup, the second pitch of the plate appearance, hit the bill of Anderson’s helmet, and the pitcher was instantly ejected by the home-plate umpire, Mark Carlson, who you’d figure had knowledge of the last time Anderson saw the Royals.


Was it retaliation for the pitch to Dozier? Was it the next episode in the ongoing drama between the Royals and Anderson? Or did it simply get away from him? That we don’t know.

It wasn’t the kind of pitch you usually see in an intentional plunking, the kind of pitch that Brad Keller hit Anderson with back in April, if that helps your thinking. Even if the Royals weren’t happy with that Lopez fastball nearly hitting Dozier, it’d be some kind of jump to try to hit someone in the head. Even the old-school thinkers likely aren’t warm to that idea.

Regardless of intent, the pitch did hit Anderson and almost hit him in the head. It’s not likely to cool the feelings between the two sides — or among the White Sox fan base — and it is the latest chapter in a saga that stretches back to last season.

Stay tuned.

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After short stint in the majors, White Sox send Zack Collins to Triple-A

After short stint in the majors, White Sox send Zack Collins to Triple-A

When general manager Rick Hahn has talked about bringing up key prospects, he says he wants those players to be able to come up to the majors and stay there. That won't be the case with Zack Collins.

The White Sox sent the catcher down to Triple-A Charlotte following Monday's 5-2 loss to the Royals. No corresponding move will be made until Tuesday, but it is expected Welington Castillo will return from his rehab stint and rejoin the White Sox.

Collins was called up on June 18, but only played in nine games with seven starts in his 28 days on the big league roster. Collins drew a pinch-hit walk in his first plate appearance at the Cubs on June 19. He then homered two days later in his first start in Texas.

After that, Collins struggled. He goes back to Charlotte after hitting .077 (2-for-26) with five walks, the one home run and 14 strikeouts in 31 plate appearances.

It's unclear if Collins had a chance to stick on the roster or if the plan was for him to go back to Triple-A once Castillo was ready to return. Collins certainly didn't do himself any favors at the plate, but he also didn't see regular playing time.

Collins, a first-round pick in 2016, was seen working out at first base in fielding practice before games, but he stuck to catcher and DH. He could have played some first base or DH when Castillo returned. However, the White Sox claimed A.J. Reed off waivers and he debuted after the all-star break. Reed has taken the at-bats at DH, leaving Collins without regular at-bats.

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White Sox prospect Luis Robert on fire fresh off promotion to Triple-A

White Sox prospect Luis Robert on fire fresh off promotion to Triple-A

Luis Robert has been promoted twice in 2019, but nothing has slowed down his red-hot season.

The 21-year-old Cuban has only played in five games for Triple-A Charlotte, but has skipped past the adjustment period and has been productive in all five.

After collecting two hits, a walk and two stolen bases on Monday, Robert is hitting .429/.500/.810 for the Knights. He has reached base at least twice in every game with Charlotte.

Robert has shown some versatility in his game as well. He hit four extra base hits in his first three games, including two home runs in his first game for Charlotte. In the last two he has added three stolen bases. One of the stolen bases on Monday didn’t require a slide.


With Eloy Jimenez coming into his own for the White Sox and Dylan Cease one start into his major league career, Luis Robert is the clear gem of the White Sox system currently. The outfielder is ranked as the No. 5 prospect in baseball by MLB Pipeline.

Charlotte’s BB&T Ballpark is known as a hitters’ park and Triple-A plays with the same baseballs that have been under fire lately for being juiced for hitters in the majors. It makes sense that Robert would put up big numbers, but it’s still an impressive start that has White Sox fans antsy for his call-up.

It’s just five games and the White Sox haven’t been in any rush with their top prospects, but Robert is showing that he isn’t that far away from being ready for MLB pitching.

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