Chicago White Sox infielder Danny Mendick has played as well as anyone could hope for at shortstop, during the absence of Tim Anderson. Since filling in for Anderson, Mendick’s triple slash line is .316/.361/.491 in 61 plate appearances. It is worth noting that 61 at bats is a small sample size. Nonetheless, the numbers show he has earned more playing time even upon Anderson’s return. On the season, Mendick is batting .288/.337/.475, and 14 RBI with an .812 OPS.
White Sox offense is heating up
Thankfully, manager Tony La Russa has begun to use a more consistent lineup, where Mendick is usually hitting 9th, and producing. Mendick is swinging a hot bat and helping the team score runs. Granted, it helps that the White Sox offense has come to life in the past week, producing 60 runs in their last 8 games played. Facing a bad team like the Detroit Tigers and sweeping them with ease is exactly the momentum this team needs. Especially as it heads to face the Astros in Houston this weekend. Mendick should get more playing time for the foreseeable future over players like Josh Harrison and Leury Garcia.
Danny Mendick proved everyone wrong. The decision to call him up was the right one and he deserves to stay as of now.
Facts are facts.
— Vinnie Parise (@VinnieParise) June 11, 2022
Roster moves looming for the White Sox
When Anderson returns to action, it will most likely come down to either Mendick or Harrison. As for Garcia, its unlikely he goes anywhere. As long as he is used as a utility player and not an everyday starter, Garcia has some value. It will either be the White Sox sending down Mendick to AAA or DFA’ing Harrison once Anderson finishes his rehab stint in Charlotte. To compare with Mendick’s numbers this season, Harrison is hitting .198/.269/.298, with a measly 6 RBI in 121 plate appearances. On the other hand, Harrison has been hitting better in recent games. Harrison has improved his average from .167 to .198 since the start of June.
The 2 strike approach
Part of the reason Mendick has been successful at the plate, is thanks to his approach in two strike counts. This is something both Mendick and Andrew Vaughn have been working on. The results have been productive and has contributed to an explosion of offense for the White Sox. “I believe, two strikes, hitting the ball on the ground is like the best way to go,” Mendick said to The Athletic. “Because there’s so many more hits on the ground than there are in the air, especially in the big leagues. The concept is if they’re throwing high fastballs, you’re gonna get on top of it, it will be a line drive.”
The White Sox do have one of the highest ground ball rates in the majors, which does not necessarily mean it is the best approach to take. With that being said, this approach that Mendick and Vaughn are using is working for both of them and producing runs. Time will tell if Mendick will replace Harrison at second. At the very least, he has shown he belongs on the major league roster.
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