Anderson to honor slain friend during Players Weekend

When the White Sox selected nicknames for the back of their uniforms for the newly created Players Weekend (Aug. 25-27), shortstop Tim Anderson knew right away.

He would go with “B Moss,” to honor his close friend who died tragically in May.

“When I first heard about it, that was the first thing that came to mind,’’ Anderson said, “that I would pay tribute to him. He motivates me, and he’s who I play the game for.’’

Branden Moss, 23, was shot and killed outside a bar in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, after coming to the assistance of someone who was being assaulted.

Tim Anderson (7) celebrates his two-run home run with Nicky Delmonico during the fifth inning. (AP)

It so affected Anderson that it likely had an impact on his play. Three months later, he’s doing better with the help of a counselor “to help me get it off my chest,” he said.

On Wednesday, Anderson had a two-run home run in the fifth inning to break a scoreless tie against the Astros and an RBI double in the sixth. Entering the game, he was 14-for-66 in his previous 18 games, but he had hit safely in his last six, including four extra-base hits and three RBI. He still leads baseball with 22 errors but hadn’t made one in 18 games.

Anderson, 24, said putting his friend’s name on his back will help the ongoing healing process.

“It lets people know how much he meant to me,’’ Anderson said. “He was very special. He kept me going — he was such a happy person.’’

Select company

Carlos Rodon, who will start Thursday and struck out 11 Red Sox and walked none in his last outing, joined Chris Sale (five times) and Jake Peavy (twice) as the only Sox since 2012 to have 11-plus strikeouts with no walks in a game.

Rodon (three times) and former teammate Sale (15) are the only American League lefties with three double-digit strikeout games.

Toolbox

Sox prospects were cited in Baseball America’s annual Best Tools survey completed in July:

Class AAA International League: infielder Yoan Moncada (best batting prospect and most exciting player), right-hander Zack Burdi (best fastball) and Willy Garcia (best outfield arm).

Class AA Southern League: right-hander Michael Kopech (best pitching prospect and best fastball) and left-hander Jordan Guerrero (best changeup).

Class A Carolina League: outfielder Eloy Jimenez (best power prospect), catcher Zack Collins (best strike-zone judgment), right-hander Alec Hansen (best fastball) and infielder Danny Mendick (best defensive second baseman).

Minor trade

The Sox acquired 29-year-old minor-league right-hander Steve Johnson from the Orioles for cash considerations.

Johnson, 1-2 with a 5.30 ERA in 37 1/3 innings covering 19 games (five starts) with Class AAA Norfolk, will report to Class AAA Charlotte.

Follow me on Twitter @CST_soxvan.

Email: dvanschouwen@suntimes.com

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