Anderson unlikely for series, aims to avoid IL

April 6th, 2021

almost certainly won’t play during the three-game series in Seattle, beginning Monday night, after the shortstop exited in the first inning Sunday with left hamstring tightness.

But in comments made via Zoom about 90 minutes before first pitch, Anderson expressed hope he can avoid a trip to the injured list.

“That's what I'm trying to do. I don't want to go on the [IL]. Nobody does,” Anderson said. “... I'm going to try to get healthy. I'm going to play it smart and see where I land. Hopefully I come back 100 percent. ... But definitely get the treatment I need.”

“I’d say if you told me he’d be ready [for the home opener] on Thursday, we would all be very pleased,” said White Sox manager Tony La Russa during Monday’s Zoom. “I don't see him playing here for a couple of days, for sure.”

Anderson had an MRI Monday afternoon, but the team did not have the results pregame. The injury came on the first play of the game when Anderson grounded out to second against the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, but he winced and somewhat pulled up shortly before he hit first base.

"Probably a couple steps before I got to the base, I kind of pulled up,” Anderson said. “I probably would've beat it out if that wouldn't have happened. ...

“At this point, it just goes by how I feel. Today was better than yesterday … Did a little bit of running, felt good. … So that's definitely a positive in my way. But I think the biggest goal is continue to keep pushing and doing what they need me to do to try to get back out there as soon as I can, but be healthy, for the most part."

Leury García replaced Anderson on Sunday and will start at shortstop in place of the batting champion. Infielders Danny Mendick and Matt Reynolds are part of the taxi squad in Seattle, should an injured list move need to be made with Anderson, but only Mendick is on the 40-man roster.

Alternate site roster announced

The White Sox alternate site team, announced Monday afternoon, includes 14 pitchers, two catchers, six infielders and four outfielders. Here’s a look at that roster.

Right-handed pitcher (12): Zack Burdi, Ryan Burr, Will Carter, Danny Dopico, Tayron Guerrero, Tyler Johnson, Reynaldo López, Kade McClure, Alex McRae, Connor Sadzeck, Jonathan Stiever and Mike Wright.

Left-handed pitchers (2): Kodi Medeiros and Nik Turley.

Catchers (2): Carlos Pérez and Seby Zavala.

Infielders (6): Tim Beckham, Marco Hernández, Mendick, Zach Remillard, Reynolds and Gavin Sheets.

Outfielders (4): Luis González, Mikie Mahtook, Blake Rutherford and Nick Williams.

Games against the Cubs alternate site roster will be hosted by the White Sox on April 13, 19, 24, 28 and 30. Four of the five scheduled games will take place at Wintrust Field in Schaumburg, Ill., the return site of the 2021 White Sox alternate training facility and home of the Schaumburg Boomers. The April 19 contest will be played at Guaranteed Rate Field while the White Sox are in Boston. All games are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. CT, except for a noon first pitch on April 30.

The White Sox will travel to the Cubs alternate site in South Bend, Ind. for games on April 15, 17, 21 and 26. Games in South Bend are scheduled for 1 p.m. CT, except for the April 15 game which will be determined at a later date. Fans will be allowed to attend the April 17 contest, but the remaining three games in South Bend will be closed to the public.

Mercedes an early surprise

A Major League-record eight straight hits to start the season earned rookie Yermín Mercedes the American League’s first Player of the Week honors from April 1-4. Mercedes finished 9-for-14 with one home run, two doubles, two runs scored and six RBIs. He became the first designated hitter in franchise history to produce a five-hit game, going 5-for-5 in Friday’s victory.

This award represents the White Sox first weekly honor since Lucas Giolito won it in August 2020, and the first for a position player since José Abreu in August 2020. The last White Sox rookie to earn a weekly honor was Eloy Jiménez in September 2019. The 28-year-old Mercedes’ results definitely are a surprise.

“Yeah, yeah, I surprised everybody,” Mercedes said. “They feel happy for that because I keep doing my job, I keep working hard. They are so happy with me, Tony, my team, the White Sox, they are so happy because they know. I keep doing that every day. They believe in me.”

Although Mercedes has started exclusively at designated hitter, he continues working with catching coach Jerry Narron behind the plate.

They Said It

“We were just playing around during batting practice. They were just joking with me, ‘Hey, you are so hot. Give me hits. Give me hits.’” -- Mercedes on a Sunday night batting practice interaction with Albert Pujols and Mike Trout, leading to a picture being taken of the three

“We’re playing baseball. It ain't about how you start, it's how you finish. We're going to be all right. We're just fine. It's only four games, first series.” -- Anderson on the team’s 1-3 start