ST. PETERSBURG -- Tim Anderson was thrown out at home on the back end of Yoan Moncada's game-winning double in the 10th inning of Friday night's 3-2 White Sox victory at Tropicana Field.It's a play where Anderson and his elite speed figure to score from first probably 100 out of
ST. PETERSBURG -- Tim Anderson was thrown out at home on the back end of Yoan Moncada's game-winning double in the 10th inning of Friday night's 3-2 White Sox victory at Tropicana Field.
It's a play where Anderson and his elite speed figure to score from first probably 100 out of 100 times. But the White Sox shortstop has been slowed by left knee soreness, as revealed by manager Rick Renteria and Anderson prior to Saturday's game, costing him a step in that situation.
"A little tender, going through some soreness," Anderson said. "But I'm able to play through. I'd score easily if my knee wasn't bothering me. It is what it is."
"I'll just put that to bed for you. He's giving me what he's got right now," Renteria said. "He tried to turn it up and you could see he couldn't go any more. We know him. We watch him from the bench. We see what he's trying to do and that's it."
Anderson has been getting treatment for this soreness for about one week. He's feeling better and trying to stay in the lineup every day.
Renteria prefers not to let other teams know what's going on with his guys. But he heard the rumblings of Anderson not going all out on that final play and wanted to set the record straight, especially with Anderson being pulled Tuesday after not running out a line drive to third base in the sixth inning on a play Anderson believed was a catch.
"Again, I know my guys. I know everything that's going on with them," Renteria said. "There's no need for me to put a bunch of stuff out there. I really don't want the other team to know what's going on with our guys to be honest. But I have to defend my guy. That's it."
Moncada looking to connect and protect
Entering Saturday's contest, Moncada had been called for strike three on a Major League-high 38 pitches that Statcast™ classified on the edges or outside. Moncada has 53 total called strikeouts this season, among his total of 151, giving some credence to the White Sox belief of unluckiness for the second baseman in terms of not getting the benefit of borderline calls.
But even with that info in mind, Moncada knows adjustments need to be made especially in two-strike counts.
"I know that there have been very close calls, borderline pitches, but now I have to make the adjustment," said Moncada through interpreter Billy Russo. "I have to swing or I have to protect the strike zone a little bit more.
"At least try to make contact with those pitches, even for a foul ball or whatever. I need to be able to fight a little more in my at-bats and defend the strike zone a little bit better."
The White Sox want Moncada to be aggressive, but aggressive within the strike zone. He's not worried about losing his exceptional eye at the plate, although the 23-year-old understands the need for a cautious approach.
"There are sometimes pitches out of the zone and you are not going to swing at those pitches even though they can call it," Moncada said. "You have to keep your approach, keep believing in your strengths. But at the same time, you can expand a little bit more your awareness of the strike zone especially in the situation with two strikes."
Shields sees the future in the past
James Shields, Sunday's starter for the White Sox, was honored this weekend as part of the 2008 Rays team that went to the World Series. The veteran right-hander sees similarities between that historic team and the current White Sox rebuild.
"I see a lot of similarities," Shields said. "The talent's there in the Chicago White Sox organization, no doubt. They just have to come together. It's definitely going to happen; I believe it will. It's just a matter of putting it together."
Tampa Bay finished at 66-96 in '07, only to rise to 97 wins in '08. Shields posted a 14-8 record with a 3.56 ERA for an American League champion managed by Joe Maddon.
"That was pretty magical, man," Shields said. "The group of guys we had, the chemistry in the clubhouse, how much fun we had on a nightly basis."
Third to first
• Chicago White Sox Charities (CWSC) annual 25-hour fundraising campaign, $25 for 25, raised $32,000 on Thursday and Friday.
• Jose Abreu has joined Magglio Ordonez (1999-2003) as the only players in White Sox history to hit 30-plus doubles in five straight seasons.
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.