White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson isn’t particularly fond of days off. But when he couldn’t grip a bat or squeeze his glove Friday after being hit by a pitch on his left hand Thursday, the rookie knew playing wasn’t an option.
One day out of the lineup was enough.
Anderson returned to the leadoff spot Saturday against the Orioles with a light wrap on his hand.
“It’s exciting to get back out there,” Anderson said. “I kind of don’t like off days because I feel like it throws me off my rhythm a little bit. But off days can be kind of good sometimes. You get your legs back under you, and you can sit back and take a deep breath.”
Anderson’s return allowed manager Robin Ventura to drop Adam Eaton from the leadoff spot into the 3-hole, behind Melky Cabrera.
Ventura experimented with Eaton batting third Thursday against the Tigers. Eaton went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Ventura wouldn’t say how long he’d leave Eaton in that spot, but he knows Eaton, who entered the game hitting .271, isn’t opposed to it.
“He kind of fancies himself a 3-hole hitter,” Ventura said. “I have [Anderson] at the top who can run a little bit. You get Melky up there as well, and you surround those guys with some different people. It also just looks different. And I think for those guys, they seem to like it, just the way it lines up.”
Anderson had walked twice in 201 at-bats entering the game. Though Ventura doesn’t expect Anderson to start looking for walks immediately, he believes Anderson will develop that aspect of his game in the future.
Anderson, who entered with 59 strikeouts, said his walk-to-strikeout ratio will even out as he matures.
“I’m an aggressive hitter,” he said. “And I feel like if I get a good pitch to hit, I’m going to swing at it.”
With the Rio Summer Games underway, Ventura recently said he has fond memories of his own Olympic experience. Ventura was part of the 1988 U.S. team that won gold in Seoul, South Korea.
Baseball hasn’t been a part of the Games since 2008, but it’s set to return in 2020 in Tokyo.
“It was great. You’re a 21-year-old kid that gets to play in the Olympics,” Ventura said. “I think all of us hold a soft spot in our heart for that. You win a gold medal and have a lot of friends that you have for life. There’s a lot of stories about stuff we did that hopefully nobody will ever know about, but it was very funny for us.”
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