White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson was placed on the 10-day injured list with a strained right groin prior to Saturday night’s contest against the Royals.
Anderson was injured on an Adalberto Mondesi infield single during the third inning of the White Sox 3-2 victory at Kauffman Stadium on Friday, when his feet became tangled while fielding the grounder up the middle, but he said he locked up later in the game fielding his last ground ball. Leury García started Saturday at shortstop, his natural position, though Danny Mendick and Nick Madrigal also could get time there.
“It's nothing. It's mild, I would say,” said the 27-year-old Anderson, who is hitting .333 with four doubles, one home run and one RBI in seven games this season after winning the 2019 American League batting title. “I don't see it being too much crazy of a time.
“Yeah it's more so just kind of running a little bit. But I'm in a good spot right now. It will continue to get better as I continue to do my work and continue to do my strengthening drills.”
Catcher Yermin Mercedes, 27, was added to the active roster from the Schaumburg, Ill., alternate training site, although he was part of the road taxi squad. He was acquired by the White Sox from Baltimore in the Minor League phase of the 2017 Rule 5 Draft and has quickly become a fan favorite even before taking a single Major League at-bat.
Mercedes hit four home runs with nine RBIs before Spring Training was suspended in March and had 23 homers and 80 RBIs between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte last season. After 617 games in the Minors and 60 games in unaffiliated baseball, Mercedes grew emotional Saturday when talking about his first big league opportunity.
“I’m excited,” said Mercedes, who can play at third base, first and both corner-outfield spots. “I’ve waited a long time, but now I’ve got it.”
“I love this kid,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “Everybody does.”
Robert not getting fastballs
Luis Robert led off for the first time in his Major League career Saturday night, but if the first seven games were any indication, fastballs from opposing pitchers still were not going to be prevalent. According to Statcast, Robert has seen the second-lowest rate of fastballs at 32.7 percent with a minimum of 50 total pitches. He also has seen the fifth-highest rate of sliders at 39.8 percent.
“I definitely was expecting that, because pitchers knew that I have quick hands and can get to the ball pretty fast, pretty quick,” said Robert through interpreter Billy Russo. “They were going to try to attack me in a different way.
“But everything looks good. I don’t think there’s anything else I need to change. You make an adjustment. I definitely was expecting that, and I was prepared.”
Robert hit leadoff during his off-the-charts 2019 Minor League season across Class A Advanced Winston-Salem, Birmingham, and Charlotte. He started smiling before the question was even translated for him during Saturday’s Zoom when asked about being comfortable hitting No. 1.
“My approach is the same. Just be aggressive,” Robert said. “Last year, I was the leadoff and I had very good results. There’s no reason for me to change.”
“For me, it's actually an opportunity,” said Renteria of Robert leading off. “That window has opened, but this is not a set-in-stone position for him right now. I want to see how he does tonight.”
Third to first
• Renteria had no updated timeline in regard to a return for right-hander Reynaldo López, who is on the injured list with right shoulder soreness.
• Madrigal, the No. 4 White Sox prospect per MLB Pipeline, had no idea his entire family would be featured on the NBC Sports Chicago broadcast Friday night via a Zoom call. The family was shown with each of the second baseman’s at-bats.
“That's great,” said Madrigal of the support. “I talked to them before the game, and they were telling me they'll be watching and just supporting me, that they wished they could be there.
“I told them that hopefully there's many more games in the future they can come to. I felt like they were here. Even though they weren't in the stands, they were supporting me, and it definitely means a lot.”
• Evan Marshall has thrown 15 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings over his last 15 games dating back to Sept. 7, 2019, holding opponents to a .140 average (7-for-40) with 18 strikeouts. He has retired the last nine batters he has faced.
He said it
“This Royals team has actually made some strides the last year or two. Their lineup has some pop, so it’s not like we should be just running through them. At the same time, we should be winning these ballgames based on talent up and down the roster.” -- Dallas Keuchel on Friday’s win
“He told me that I was on his ground. I told him, ‘Hey, I called the ball.’” -- Robert on his interaction with García when he cut in front of him in right field to make a catch in Cleveland