Sore thumb actually helping White Sox’ Tim Anderson

SHARE Sore thumb actually helping White Sox’ Tim Anderson
white_sox_tigers_baseball_76456485.jpg

Tim Anderson celebrates after scoring on a Jose Abreu double in the third inning Saturday. (AP)

DETROIT — Shortstop Tim Anderson is playing with his right thumb wrapped after he got jammed by Orioles lefty Tanner Scott on Wednesday.

“Like jammed real bad,’’ Anderson said Saturday morning. “It didn’t feel real good.”

RELATED STORIES Anderson, Abreu power White Sox past Tigers Focus on draft intensifies for White Sox

Anderson’s thumb got smoked when he grounded to second on an inside pitch from the hard-throwing Scott. But Anderson said hurting his thumb actually turned out to be a good thing.

Did it ever. A night after going 3-for-4 with a home run against the Tigers, Anderson hit two more homers Saturday, his ninth and 10th of the season, in the White Sox’ 8-4 victory against Detroit. Matt Davidson is the team leader with 11.

“It’s helping me swing at better pitches,’’ he said of the thumb. “I won’t swing at a bad pitch to avoid hurting it.’’

Anderson said his throwing isn’t affected much by the sore thumb, although he made a high throw on a routine ground ball that led to an unearned run against Hector Santiago in the first inning.

“It’s feeling better every day,’’ he said.

Anderson, whose four RBI Saturday were a career high, also has had multihomer games against the Royals and Twins.

Davidson scratched

Davidson was scratched after taking batting practice and missed his fourth consecutive start. He has been out with a sore back.

Jose Rondon replaced Davidson at DH and batted fourth.

Alfredo Gonzalez makes debut

Catching coordinator John Orton is with the team on this road trip as 25-year-old catcher Alfredo Gonzalez, pressed into service after the 80-game suspension for starting catcher Welington Castillo, made his debut Saturday.

The Sox bring coordinators in from time to time, but in this case, the front office recommended Orton come in on special assignment.

“I thought it made sense,” manager Rick Renteria said. “A good suggestion.”

Gonzalez brings a good reputation as a pitch framer, and he threw out 11 of 33 base stealers at Class AAA Charlotte, where he batted .169 in 27 games. He’s a career .159/.272/.181 hitter at Triple-A, though.

Renteria said Orton is also there for Omar Narvaez, who has made 18 starts behind the plate and ranks last in the majors in pitch framing, according to Baseball Prospectus. He also leads the majors with eight passed balls, a stat Narvaez says he’s not totally responsible for.

“I don’t want to put too much on the pitchers, but sometimes you don’t know where the ball is going,’’ he said. “It’s not always comfortable; sometimes you have to fight through it and just stop it.’’

In Narvaez’s defense, starters Carson Fulmer (demoted to Charlotte last week) and Lucas Giolito have battled extreme command problems, often missing the target by more than a foot.

“Sometimes it’s on me, too; it’s just a passed ball,’’ Narvaez said. “And I’m trying to work on it and get better. My job is to stop the ball.’’

In other catching news, waiver claim Dustin Garneau, 30, was promoted to Charlotte, and Yermin Mercedes, 25, was assigned back to Class A Winston-Salem. Mercedes did not appear in a game for the Knights.

Abreu’s merry, merry month of May

Jose Abreu was batting .352/.396/.568 with 13 doubles, two homers, 16 RBI and a .964 OPS in 22 games this month going into Saturday’s game.

And then he doubled in a run in the third inning, homered in the fifth and finished 4-for-4.

“He’s becoming a much more consistent guy with longer streaks of performance,’’ Renteria said.

“He’s been around the block now [in his fifth season]. He’s more comfortable in his own skin. He knows his weaknesses and strengths and knows how to use them.’’

Abreu’s ninth homer, an opposite-field, tying solo shot against Francisco Liriano, was only his third in his last 29 games. Abreu gets pitched around, and Renteria suggested that total might be higher were he surrounded by a deeper lineup.

“I hope [his home-run numbers pick up],’’ Renteria said. “That is more of a consequence of making good contact and getting good pitches to hit. He is one of our better hitters, so he doesn’t always get something to manage as much as you’d like.’’

Where have they gone?

The Sox’ 25-man roster includes 15 players who were with team on Opening Day. Five from the Opening Day roster are on the disabled list (Nicky Delmonico, Avisail Garcia, Leury Garcia, Miguel Gonzalez, Danny Farquhar), one is on the restricted list (Castillo), three are at Charlotte (Fulmer, Juan Minaya, Gregory Infante) and one (Tyler Saladino) was traded for cash considerations.

Saladino was slashing .345/.367/.690 with three home runs in 30 plate appearances for the Brewers.

The Latest
A dormant but architecturally-significant modernist South Side office building is getting a major fix-up.
Contributions to Democratic candidates and abortion-rights groups have spiked sharply. Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt says, “How (abortion) plays out in November is to be determined, but for now, it is injecting some much-needed enthusiasm into parts of the Democratic coalition.”
The man, 30, was in the 9000 block of South Escanaba Avenue about 12:20 a.m. when he was shot in the head.
Jalen Vales, 27, was charged with attempted first degree murder and aggravated battery of a peace officer.
Lance Lynn threw six scoreless innings in his best start of season. The Sox benefitted from Giants reliever Camilo Doval’s error in the ninth that allowed Gavin Sheets to reach base.