The White Sox don’t have to worry about a shortage of shortstops while Tim Anderson misses this weekend’s series to attend the funeral of a close friend.
Leury Garcia made his ninth career start at shortstop Friday, which created an opportunity for Willy Garcia to start in center field. Tyler Saladino and Yolmer Sanchez also have experience at shortstop and could start there this weekend depending on how manager Rick Renteria wants to configure his lineups.
“We’re OK,” Renteria said. “We’re going to deal with what we have to deal with [using] the guys that we have. I’m very confident in their ability to be able to fill that position, and we’ll continue to move forward.”
Anderson is expected to rejoin the Sox on Monday in Anaheim, California, for the start of a 10-game trip. He left the team to attend the funeral of Branden Moss, 23, who was shot and killed early Sunday after he came to the aid of a man who was assaulted outside a bar in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
The news shook Anderson, who was friends with Moss since high school. Anderson is the godfather of Moss’ young daughter, and Moss was the godfather of Anderson’s young daughter.
“It’s really hard when you lose a close friend,” Sanchez said. “That friend was like his brother. We came in that [next] day, and we talked to him. We are family here.”
Jose Abreu said Anderson’s excused absence shows how the organization respects its players.
“First and foremost, Tim has all our support,” Abreu said through an interpreter. “I think that the White Sox really understand how important our lives [are] off the field, and that’s something we have to appreciate.”
Back in Chicago
Matt Szczur ripped Miguel Gonzalez’s first pitch of the game over the left-field wall less than a week after the Cubs designated him for assignment and traded him to the San Diego Padres.
Szczur said he always would savor his memories with the Cubs but is grateful for an opportunity to play more. He has started three games in a row.
“I think the hardest part for me was leaving all my teammates,” Szczur said. “Those are the guys that I grew up with throughout the system. I’ve been [Anthony] Rizzo’s lockermate for probably five years now. But for my career, I know I needed to move on, and it was just bound to happen.”
Dylan Covey (0-3, 8.28 ERA) will try again for his first career win when he takes the mound Saturday. In his first five starts, the 25-year-old rookie has allowed 23 earned runs in 25 innings. The Sox selected him from the Oakland Athletics in the Rule 5 draft and must keep him on the roster all season or return him to the A’s.
“My confidence is good,” Covey said. “I just need to execute a little bit better. If I can avoid having my mistakes miss over the middle of the plate, I’ll be fine.”
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