Some critical pieces of the puzzle are coming back together for the Chicago White Sox. Heading into tonight's series openers against the Angels, the White Sox announced a bevy of roster moves, and a couple of them are sure to have fans on the South Side giddy with anticipation.
Tim Anderson Returns
The headliner of Tuesday's news is the return of shortstop Tim Anderson, who has missed the last 12 games with what the team officially called a left hamstring strain. White Sox manager Tony LaRussa consistently referred to Anderson's ailment as "leg soreness."
The team managed to post a 7-5 record throughout Anderson's absence, but there's no doubt the All-star's return will be a major shot in the arm for the Sox, who currently hold a 12-game lead in the AL Central. The 28-year-old Anderson is batting .302 on the season with an OPS+ of 115.
In addition to Anderson, the White Sox are getting back starter Lucas Giolito, who spent 11 days on the IL, also with a strained hamstring. A key member of the Sox' star-studded rotation, Giolito is 9-9 on the season with a 3.69 ERA and 10.2 K/9 rate across 158.1 innings.
Vaughn to IL
It's not all positive news from the club today, however. Andrew Vaughn has been placed on the IL with lower back stiffness. The promising rookie has played a major part in the White Sox early-season success, stepping in for the injured Eloy Jimenez to start the season, and maintaining a position on a loaded playoff-bound roster. In 120 games so far, the 23-year-old is slashing .240/.314/.409.
In a corresponding move, catcher Zack Collins, who has seen action in 72 games for the Sox, has been called up from Triple-A Charlotte.
Finally, infielder Danny Mendick and catcher Seby Savala have been sent down to Charlotte.
The Timing is Right
The White Sox kick off a three-game series with the Angels (70-73) tonight in Chicago before heading on a 10-game road trip packed with inter-division play. The Sox have a realistic opportunity to secure their first division title since 2008 on that trip.