White Sox utility infielder proving to be valuable asset for team this season. The second year player has seen increased playing time due to injury of Brett Lawrie, hasn’t disappointed for White Sox
White Sox second baseman Brett Lawrie hasn’t played since July 21 due to a hamstring injury. In his place, utility infielder Tyler Saladino has provided solid production for the White Sox. Saladino, has improved from his rookie season, and has given the White Sox adequate defense at multiple positions throughout the infield this season.
Although Carlos Sanchez has started 10 games at second base during Lawrie’s absence, Saladino has been the better player for the team. Saladino appeared in 68 games for the White Sox last season, and after a solid start he faded towards the end of the 2015 campaign. The White Sox relied on Saladino to start more games than he should have in 2015, and it ultimately showed in his batting average.
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Through 68 games for the White Sox last season, Saladino’s slash line was .225/.267/.305. This season however, his slash line is .265/.307/.404 through 59 games. Saladino started 60 games in 2015, and has started 43 games this season for the White Sox. Saladino has appeared in 59 games this season.
The 2010 seventh round pick for the White Sox has not only been solid offensively, but his defense has been helpful this season. Despite committing three errors playing third base and shortstop, he’s been nearly flawless at second base. In seven starts at second base, Saladino has yet to make an error.
With Lawrie’s return still unknown as of Sunday, the White Sox are going to have to rely on Saladino to continue performing at second base. Sanchez hasn’t been effective offensively ad he’s hitting .121 this season. Once Lawrie returns from injury, playing time could become sparse for Saladino again. However, this hasn’t hurt Saladino so far in 2016. Saladino has still been able to record hits after not playing for a few days, such as his walk-off hit versus the Cubs on July 25. Saladino had three hits in a game on July 20 against Seattle Mariners after not playing in four games.
With the team dealing with a rash of injuries, Saladion’s presence has been a pleasant surprise. If Saladino can continue getting playing time, he should continue showcasing his immense talent as a super utility player for the White Sox this season.