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Tim Anderson still confident despite recent struggles at plate

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12:54 AM UTC

CLEVELAND — After going 1-for-5 in the White Sox 4-2 win over the Guardians on Tuesday night, Tim Anderson now finds himself in a 3-for-21 funk over his past six games.

The White Sox All-Star shortstop has not homered during the 2023 campaign and hasn’t gone deep since July 15, 2022, since he didn’t play after Aug. 6 following surgery to repair a tear in the middle finger of his left hand. While the results have not been up to the lofty bar set in the short term, Anderson’s confidence has not been hampered.

“Everyone around knows my work ethic and knows the goals and the focus. I’m nothing but one swing away from setting this [stuff] on fire,” Anderson told during a pregame conversation Tuesday. “It’s always having that mentality and playing that game where I might look like trash right now, but at the end of the day, I’m the best player on the field every time I step on the field. I think everybody knows that.

“It’s just about giving it time to click and just more so understanding the game. This is just a moment for me to continue to keep learning and keep growing.”

Injuries have taken a toll on Anderson’s career, with the latest setback coming on April 10 at Target Field when he suffered a left knee sprain. The original diagnosis had Anderson out of action for 2-to-4 weeks, and the somber tone of his first media session after the injury showed how much it affected the usually upbeat and outgoing individual.

But Anderson has been a quick healer, as manager Pedro Grifol pointed out along the recovery process, and he was back in action on May 2. The team needed whatever help it could muster after an 8-21 April, but the White Sox also are 159-120 since ‘20 when Anderson is in the lineup.

Injuries, though, are not an excuse for Anderson’s current struggles. With runners on first and second with two outs in the fourth inning of Tuesday’s game vs. Cleveland, Anderson showed his athleticism and defensive ability by corralling an Andrés Giménez single up the middle. Anderson then threw out Josh Bell at home plate by a good margin after Bell attempted to score from second.

“I don’t really think anybody wants to hear if I came back too early or too late,” said Anderson with a laugh. “I feel fine. I think it’s all a part of life. … You gotta learn. It’s about making adjustments. That’s something I’m going through, thinking about things I have been through and all the injuries I have been through.

“As you get older, things always switch. Right when you think you know something, you don’t. It’s one of those things I’m going through and I’m going to keep grinding it out. I’m not going to quit. It’s just part of the process. It’s something I’ll look back on and, hopefully, be laughing about it.”

It’s more of a feel thing for Anderson, where he feels good at one point at the plate but not consistently. He also has been expanding the zone, which is an uncharacteristic trait for a player hitting .312 since winning the American League batting title in 2019.

“Everybody knows what type of hitter I am. I wouldn’t throw myself a fastball right now either,” Anderson said. “It’s being patient and waiting on something good to hit. Just keep grinding.

“Sometimes, when you come out of the injuries, you want to get it going and you are searching for that hard contact. Searching for that barrel. At the end of the day, you have to get a good pitch. Moving forward, just be patient.”

Anderson continues doing his homework, studying his swing and trying to perfect his craft, coming just short of guaranteeing better times are ahead.

“Right now, it’s a rough spot. It’s a rough patch so you try to grind and get up out of it,” Anderson said. “I’ll take these couple of weeks to suck to be great in the long run. 

“It’s all about how you approach it and all about how you see it. But a lot of people live in the now and they want things now. It’s all a process. I’m in for it for sure.”

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Tim Anderson still confident despite recent struggles at plate Reviewed by RP on May 24, 2023 Rating: 5

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