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Plate-approach tweak has Anderson raking

Moncada to return Thursday from IL stint
@scottmerkin
August 21, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS -- The question for White Sox hitting coach Todd Steverson centered around a change shortstop Tim Anderson made to his hitting approach that has yielded a .332 batting average following Wednesday’s 4-0 win over the Twins at Target Field. Steverson came up with more than one reason for those

MINNEAPOLIS -- The question for White Sox hitting coach Todd Steverson centered around a change shortstop Tim Anderson made to his hitting approach that has yielded a .332 batting average following Wednesday’s 4-0 win over the Twins at Target Field.

Steverson came up with more than one reason for those lofty results.

“Partly through experience,” Steverson said. “Partly through a belief in approach and thought process of what he wants to go up there and do and being able to stick with it and execute. Part athleticism; just God-given ability he has always had.”

Anderson’s transformation has survived an absence from June 26 to July 29 due to a high right ankle sprain. His 35 hits lead the Majors in August, during which Anderson has hit .407 with a 1.008 OPS. He went 2-for-5 with a run scored on Wednesday.

This change didn’t happen overnight. Anderson put in a great deal of extra time during the offseason focusing on his offense, as he has done previously defensively and continues to do within the season. Steverson and Anderson were together for about one week this past offseason and went over some sticking points.

“Timing was one of the biggest things. Position, timing and eliminating some movement to be able to recognize and execute his swing best he could,” Steverson said. “He always had a knack to hit balls all over the zone coming up from the Minor Leagues.”

“Sometimes that’s a help and sometimes a hindrance. He can hit a ball away that’s a ball and a half off the plate or up or underneath. You don’t want him to lose that, those types of traits. You also have to reel it in a little bit and understanding some of the things suppressing you in terms of consistent contact or putting you in bad counts.”

When asked if Anderson could sustain the changes he has made, Steverson quickly pointed out sustained success is the goal for everyone. Anderson always has had the talent and after fighting through a few struggles at the Major League level, has shown that talent plays here as well.

“In terms of the numbers, they are the numbers,” Steverson said. “They are a product of him putting swings on good pitches and having the ability to get hits with them. At the end of the day you have to keep yourself how you are. But you have to make adjustments. He understood the adjustments he needed to make, he made them and stuck with them.”

Moncada set to return

A return to the White Sox for Yoán Moncada from injury rehab with Triple-A Charlotte is scheduled to come in Thursday’s series opener against the Rangers at Guaranteed Rate Field. The third baseman, who has been on the injured list since Aug. 1 with a right hamstring strain, has gone 9-for-22 with two home runs, six RBIs and six runs scored through five games with the Knights.

Moncada played the past two games from start to finish at third base.

“We were wanting him to get through yesterday's game,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “I'm sure we'll have some sort of move here in the near future.”

First to third

Ross Detwiler gets the start for the White Sox Thursday.

The White Sox are in a stretch of playing 17 consecutive days from Aug. 9-25 after opening the second half with 27 games in 27 days from July 12 to Aug. 7. They have an off-day Monday.

He said It

“He's not a guy that loses confidence very easily. He's very focused and assured of himself, comfortable in his own skin.” -- Renteria, on rookie pitcher Dylan Cease, who has struggled with pitch execution this season. In eight starts, Cease is 2-6 with a 5.93 ERA.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.