Here we go. I usually don’t go out of my way to write about the White Sox because this isn’t a White Sox/Chicago blog and quite frankly, very few people actually care about their attempts at playing the game of baseball. However as a lifelong White Sox fan, this is too exciting to ignore. The Tim Anderson era is here.
Just confirmed Tim Anderson has been called up
— whitesoxdave (@barstoolWSD) June 10, 2016
Anderson is the #1 (and only good) prospect in the White Sox organization. This is probably the most anticipated White Sox call-up since Gordon Beckham in 2009 (I hated writing that sentence). I don’t watch too much Charlotte Knights baseball, but by all accounts this kid can play a little. The shortstop is hitting .304 with four home runs and 11 stolen bases in AAA so far this season. Last season at AA, Anderson hit .312 with five home runs and 49 stolen bases.
My views on White Sox baseball have changed on an almost daily basis this season. They started out 23-10 and an all-Chicago World Series was actually considered the most likely match-up by oddsmakers at this time. The bullpen was fantastic. Mat Latos was good. Robin Ventura looked competent. There was timely hitting. There was great defense. There was just figuring out ways to win.
Then it all went to s***. It started with a seemingly innocent bullpen blow-up in a rain interrupted game in Texas on May 10 in which the Sox gave up seven runs in the bottom of the eighth and lost 13-11. Since that time, the Sox have won seven games and lost 20. They now sit at 30-30 on the season and in fourth place in the AL Central. The White Sox woes culminated with possibly the worst series that I have ever seen in my life as a Sox fan. The bullpen blew three straight leads in Kansas City, including one in which they were winning 7-1 in the bottom of the ninth, and lost all three games.
On Wednesday morning, my hopes for a White Sox resurgence were pretty low. New acquisition “Big Game” James Shields had just been blasted by the Nationals in his Sox debut for seven earned runs in two innings. Not sure what I was expecting from a guy who let up 33 HOME RUNS pitching half of his games at PETCO Park last season, but I was hoping for at least three innings out of him. Then the Sox signed Justin Morneau for $1 million and immediately placed him on the 15-day DL. That was the actual headline! There is no team in Major League Baseball that signs more washed-up former All-Stars a decade past their prime than the White Sox. Jimmy Rollins in 2016, Ken Griffey Jr. in 2008, Manny Ramirez and Andruw Jones in 2010 … does anybody even remember that those guys played on the Sox? Morneau did win the National League batting title in 2014, but U.S. Cellular Field isn’t Coors and Morneau only played in 49 games last season. He won’t even be available to play until mid-to-late July as he recovers from an elbow injury so basically the Sox may have paid him $1 million to play two months of hopefully meaningful baseball and that’s assuming Morneau doesn’t get hurt again which is a very bad assumption.
After signing Morneau and releasing Mat Latos finally, Miguel Gonzalez went out there on Wednesday night and led the Sox to a 3-1 win over the Nationals with six innings of one-run baseball. He’s been a remarkable surprise for the Sox thus far. The bullpen seems to be putting things back together over the last week or so and may be able to regain some of the form that we saw in April. Now Anderson has officially been called up and Rollins is a goner so there’s still hope for the once promising White Sox season and maybe, just maybe, this is once again a turning point in the season. It’s hard to envision that with Robin Ventura still leading this team, but they won 23 out of 33 games with him to start the season so why not do it again?