The Chicago White Sox will be without star shortstop Tim Anderson when they open their season next Friday against the Detroit Tigers. That’s because Anderson will be serving a two-game suspension that carried over from last season.
Anderson had originally been fined and suspended for three games this past September after he made contact with an umpire. Yet Anderson told Lamond Pope of the Chicago Tribune that Major League Baseball reduced his punishment to a two-game suspension and a $10,000 fine following an appeal.
Anderson confirmed as much on his personal Twitter account, sending out the following message:
Coincidentally, the Tigers were the White Sox’s opponent in the game that led to Anderson’s suspension. The two sides had their benches clear after José Abreu was hit by a pitch and later slid into second base in an aggressive manner. It was during the larger brouhaha that Anderson made contact with umpire Tim Timmons. The shortstop said he was pushed by someone he couldn’t see and pushed back, without realizing that he’d just shoved Timmons.
Here’s video of the scene:
Anderson appeared in 123 games last season, amassing a .309/.338/.469 (118 OPS+) batting line with 17 home runs and 18 stolen bases. His contributions were worth an estimated 4.8 Wins Above Replacement, per Baseball Reference’s calculations.
With Anderson unable to suit up in either of the White Sox’s first two games, it’s reasonable to expect manager Tony La Russa to instead turn to utility starter Leury García. García’s outfield post, meanwhile, could be backfilled by either Andrew Vaughn, Adam Engel, or recent acquisition Adam Haseley.
The White Sox won the American League Central last season with 93 wins. Chicago is expected to face greater competition this season. The Tigers, for their part, are hoping that an active offseason can help them close the 16-game gap between the clubs.