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OPINION: Tim Anderson's Return Should Spark White Sox

The hopeful Thursday return of White Sox emotional leader Tim Anderson should provide a spark for a team that has looked flat as of late.
Tim Anderson White Sox

Photo: WhiteSox/Twitter

Since landing on the injured list due to a hamstring injury, Tim Anderson's presence has surely been missed in the White Sox lineup.

Anderson played in just three full games for the White Sox prior to his injury, which occurred in the first inning of the team's fourth game, a 7-4 loss in Anaheim. Although the 28-year-old shortstop was hitting just .200 before his exit, he was still a spark to the club on and off the field.

To fill Anderson's void at the top of the lineup, manager Tony La Russa has deployed players such as Nick Madrigal, Leury Garcia, and Adam Eaton in the leadoff spot. Despite Eaton's recent success at the plate, there just doesn't seem to be an at-bat like one from Anderson. The club has also utilized Danny Mendick to aid in the fielding duties during Anderson's absence.

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It's no secret that the White Sox offense has been quiet recently, and while that doesn't fully fall on the absence of Anderson, fans can certainly agree that having an award-winning bat at the top of the lineup, regardless of how he's hitting, helps in the rest of the team's approach at the dish.

Two days after the White Sox were outlasted by the Cleveland Indians and Shane Bieber, the plan is for Anderson to return to the lineup on Thursday in the series finale against the Tribe. If Anderson's reinstatement timeline goes as planned, look for the White Sox offense to begin their climb just before the weekend.

White Sox supporters have been noticing a lack of fire in this team as of late. Some have said that they look flat. Well, Anderson is the straw that stirs the White Sox drink. His on-field emotion and can't-beat-me attitude help fuel the team to win baseball games. He brings fun to the park with him every day along with his ability to set the table in the leadoff spot. So, when Anderson makes his awaited return, expect him to light a fire under this struggling White Sox offense, regardless of his own production at the plate.

The White Sox currently hold a 5-6 record, good for fourth place in the American League Central. They'll face off against Cleveland tonight at 7:10 PM CT before Anderson (hopefully) makes his return for the 1:10 PM matinee series finale.

Tune in to the Sox On Tap podcast all season for postgame shows and additional White Sox commentary.