Patience at plate will be key for Anderson

Patience at plate will be key for Anderson

CHICAGO -- On Friday, rookie shortstop Tim Anderson was unable to grip a bat due to soreness in his left hand after being hit by a pitch in Thursday's game against the Tigers.

But he considered the hand at 95 percent on Saturday, with no foreseeable problems offensively or defensively, leading to his return to the lineup against the Orioles. He doubled off the wall in his first at-bat, coming within inches of his sixth homer of the season, and scored the game's first run on Melky Cabrera's double.

"It's kind of scary," said Anderson of Thursday's early departure. "But I kind of had a feeling it wasn't anything serious. Just sore, because in 2014 I got hit on the [right] wrist, and it broke my wrist. It wasn't that same feeling."

"He can hold onto the bat," manager Robin Ventura said. "You get a little concerned, I think, when he goes out there and he can't hold the bat properly. Even the other day, diving back into first, you're a little nervous about putting him out there. So he feels ready to go."

Although Anderson was hitting .230 with one extra-base hit and one RBI over his last 14 games prior to Saturday's double, his debut performance has been an overall positive one. The biggest concern for the aggressive Anderson were his 59 strikeouts and two walks, producing a .275 on-base percentage in 47 games.

Anderson had a .339 on-base percentage and .301 average over parts of four Minor League seasons, but neither he nor Ventura is worried about impatience at the plate at this early stage of his big league career.

"That's just something that's going to change as I grow and mature and become a better player. It will click," Anderson said. "I've just been doing the same thing I've been doing. I'm an aggressive hitter. I feel if I get a good pitch to hit, I'm going to swing at it."

"Repetition," said Ventura as to what will help Anderson's patience. "The more you play, the more you're able to see pitches. There are guys that have developed that and learned how to do that. I'm not going to pigeonhole him that this is the way he's going to be his whole career. He's come a long way in a lot of different ways, and I think he can do that, too."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.