BALTIMORE — Tim Anderson leads the majors with nine stolen bases, and he hasn’t been thrown out yet.
Which tells him one thing.
“I’m the smartest baserunner in the league,” he said, smiling. “I’m 9-for-9.”
Dee Gordon and Billy Hamilton each have eight stolen bases. Gordon has been caught one time and Hamilton twice.
Anderson, 26-for-34 stealing last season and 15-for-16 in 2017, is very fast, but he’s leaning on experience to avoid getting nabbed in his fourth season.
“I kinda know what I’m doing now,” he said. “I kind of know when to run and pick my spots, and I’m getting better at it. I’m more knowledgeable. I’ve learned a lot from past years. I know the catchers, and I know what move I’m looking for. The rest is my legs.”
It helps that Anderson is getting on base a lot. He entered the Sox game against the Orioles Wednesday leading the AL with a .395 average while also ranking in the top 10 in OPS (1.023) and on-base percentage (.418).
According to STATS, Anderson could become the eighth Sox in club history to hit .400 or better in March/April and the first since Buddy Bradford hit .420 in 1969.
Cordell gets a shot
When Ryan Cordell banged into the right-field wall to make a tough catch in swirling winds at Comerica Park last week, don’t think his misfortunes on warning tracks didn’t cross his mind.
“Walls have not been my friend in my career,” said Cordell, who fractured his collarbone last April while playing for Class AAA Charlotte, two years after spraining an ankle crashing into a wall as a Brewers prospect.
“The wind was swirling, so I couldn’t take an extra look at the wall, but I knew it was a time when I had to make a big play,” he said.
Cordell, who can play all three outfield positions, is playing every day, and he gives the Sox more speed and a much better defensive option in right field than the slugging but slumping Daniel Palka, who was sent to Charlotte. Cordell made the Opening Day roster, was sent to Charlotte to make room for right-hander Ervin Santana on April 7 and recalled last Thursday.
Through Tuesday, Cordell was batting .333/.360/.667 with two homers and two doubles in 25 plate appearances.
“Just trying to stay relaxed, try not to do much, trust my athleticism, the work I’ve been doing, and let it play out on the field,” he said. “Hitting-wise, I’m focusing less on mechanics and more on feel.”
Giolito and Jay
Right-hander Lucas Giolito (left hamstring strain), who says he is pain-free, will throw a side session Friday and would need at least one more after that “before we decide that he’s ready to go back in” the rotation, manager Rick Renteria said.
Scheduled starters for the weekend series against the Tigers are Carlos Rodon on Friday, Reynaldo Lopez on Saturday and Giolito’s stand-in, Manny Banuelos, on Sunday.
• Outfielder Jon Jay (hip) took batting practice for a second straight day but continues to progress slowly, and there’s no timeline for the minor-league rehab stint he’ll need before he’s ready to play his first game. Running at full speed is the last hurdle.