Struggling Chicago White Sox emphasize rest, planning ahead for playoffs

In a season where the Chicago White Sox have been plagued by injuries at nearly every position on the roster, the results on the field leading up to the All-star break were simply amazing.

During the second half, it has been more about getting numerous star players back healthy on roster. Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert have returned to the team after missing nearly the entire first half of the season. Yasmani Grandal, Billy Hamilton, and Carlos Rodon will soon follow in their footsteps.

With that in mind, it should be no shock that the White Sox are airing on the side of caution when it comes to resting All-Star Tim Anderson, who has been dealing with sore legs. It could just simply be fatigue, after all it is a 162-game season.

“His legs are still barking. We don’t want to push him,” La Russa said via Sox insider Vinnie Duber on NBCSports.com. “It’s more preventative, to get rid of some of that fatigue and soreness, hopefully have him ready for tomorrow. He’s not hurt, he’s just sore. I talked to the trainer and we decided to give him another day.”

Anderson has now rested in 3 straight games and will most likely also be resting for Tuesday’s game in Toronto. While it is out of the norm for a player to have 3 consecutive off days in a regular season, the White Sox are in a unique position where they can afford resting their star player for a few days.

The White Sox are towards the tail-end of 17 straight games without an off day and hold a 9-game lead on the Cleveland Indians in the American League Central.

“If it was October, he would be in there,” said manager Tony LaRussa.

As Vinnie Duber alluded to in his article, LaRussa knows how to win a World Series Championship, and resting players down the stretch is part of the philosophy the veteran skipper employs.

While resting key players in the final two months of the season is not pleasing for most fans, avoiding another possible serious injury is vastly more important than 3 games in late August. LaRussa is thinking about the long run.

The White Sox have more than enough to compete and win these games while they give their star players a day off here and there. The problem is that the offense has been inconsistent for most of the second half.
As for the starting pitching, it has been the most consistent strength for the 2021 White Sox. In recent weeks, LaRussa and pitching coach Ethan Katz have also been giving the starting rotation a chance to rest more between starts. Specifically, Carlos Rodon.

“We need to continue to play well and pitch well and win some ballgames to be able to take care of our business and get to the playoffs,” said pitching coach Ethan Katz . “But guys need breaks. So, it’s something that’s constantly thought about and definitely on our mind. We don’t want to have to always push our starters, so they can recover and be strong for the next one”.

It’s important to remember that last season was a shortened 60-game season. For pitchers, especially Rodon, who has never pitched this many innings in his entire career, resting now could prove beneficial for their arms once October rolls around.

The White Sox record since the All-star break now sits at 18-19. Yikes. Playing under 500 baseball is certainly nothing to smile at, but there is still plenty of baseball left in the regular season for the team to find their rhythm again and get hot. Resting players so that they’re ready for playoff baseball remains the emphasis of the team.

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