The Chicago White Sox open a home series against the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday and apparently will have All-Star shortstop Tim Anderson back from the injured list. He suffered a strained groin on May 29 vs. the Cubs. While fielding a grounder and throwing out P.J. Higgins at first base, Anderson fell to the ground after making the play and was clearly favoring his right leg.
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What to expect from the White Sox this Monday
Anderson is batting .356/.393/.503 (58-163) with nine doubles, five home runs, 19 RBI, 24 runs scored and eight stolen bases in 40 games this season. The White Sox are 123-89 (.580) since 2020 when Anderson is in the lineup, compared to 36-37 (.493) when he is not.
However, the White Sox still have plenty of other injury issues. Third baseman Yoan Moncada suffered an injury to his right hamstring Friday and sat out Saturday and Sunday. Outfielder Eloy Jimenez (hamstring) is close to resuming his minor league rehab assignment at Triple-A Charlotte. Jimenez had been shut down in an effort to build up his leg strength, as he was still experiencing lingering discomfort. There’s still a chance that he could rejoin the White Sox before the end of June. Catcher Yasmani Grandal and closer Liam Hendriks are also on the injured list.
Pitcher Lance Lynn, third in the 2021 AL Cy Young voting, only made his season debut on June 13 off knee surgery. He received a no decision against Detroit in that one, allowing three runs on 10 hits with no walks and four strikeouts over 4.1 innings. Lynn is 1-3 with a 4.21 ERA (22 ER/47.0 IP) over nine career games (eight starts) against Toronto. He has gone 0-1 with a 1.42 ERA (3 ER/19.0 IP) and .171 (12-70) opponents average over his last three starts vs. the Blue Jays.
The San Diego Padres are contending in the NL West even though superstar Fernando Tatis Jr. has yet to play this season in large part because Manny Machado has been spectacular. However, Machado left Sunday’s game against the Colorado Rockies after injuring his left ankle while taking a tumble at first base trying to beat out an infield grounder.
Machado’s leg appeared to turn awkwardly while he was running to first base in the top of the first inning. He struggled to put weight on the ankle as he was helped off the field. Machado was later diagnosed with an ankle sprain after X-rays came back negative. Headed into Sunday’s game, he was tops on the Padres in batting average (.329), home runs (12), RBIs (46) and hits (83). Combined with his usual excellent defensive work, he’s accrued 4.2 wins above replacement on the year already, according to FanGraphs, putting him tops among all players in the sport.
The fact that Machado seems to have avoided a fracture is good news, but it doesn’t mean the Padres and Machado are completely out of the woods as ankle sprains can still sideline players for weeks.
It could be that the Padres don’t lose much ground against the Dodgers for the NL West lead because Los Angeles has put its MVP candidate, Mookie Betts, on the injured list with a cracked right rib. Betts sustained the injury in an outfield collision with center fielder Cody Bellinger against the Angels on Wednesday. Betts leads the Dodgers with 17 homers and 53 runs scored. In Betts’ absence, the Dodgers will lean on Chris Taylor, Eddy Alvarez and Zach McKinstry, who was called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Sunday. Trea Turner will hit leadoff for the Dodgers as long as Betts remains sidelined.
There could be quite a few roster moves Monday because Major League Baseball will start enforcing the 13-pitcher limit on active rosters. After this year’s shortened spring training, and delayed start to the regular season because of the owner-imposed lockout, a pitcher limit was not enforced. Originally, the 13-pitcher limit was supposed to start May 2, but it was extended to 14 on two occasions and ended Sunday.
According to RosterResource, 21 of the 30 clubs are carrying 14 pitchers right now. (All of the remaining nine are carrying 13—no team has fewer.) With one less pitcher available, bullpens will get a bit smaller.
“Well, it’s going to change the construction of the roster,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts acknowledged. “We’re going to have another position player, we’re going to be down to eight relievers. So that’s two guys in the ‘pen that aren’t going to be with us. I don’t know who those guys are yet.”