Chicago White Sox: Kevin Cash did no favors for Tim Anderson
Saying, “I’m sick to my stomach” that Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson did not get an at-bat in Tuesday’s All-Star game does not absolve Kevin Cash for his inability to properly manage the situation.
Anderson entered the ballgame in the eighth inning as a replacement for Toronto Blue Jays’ shortstop Bo Bichette. Despite getting two innings in the field, Anderson found himself stranded in the on-deck circle following the last out in the top of the ninth. He was the only American League position player not to get an at-bat in the game.
It was tough to see Tim Anderson avoid getting an at-bat in the All-Star Game.
The failure to get Anderson to the plate clearly falls at the feet of Cash, who could easily have avoided this limiting starter Xander Bogaerts’ playing time from five innings to three and his at-bats from three to two. Bogaerts, Bichette, and Anderson could have each played three innings and gotten at least one chance to step to the plate. Problem solved!
However, much like his decision to pull a very effective Blake Snell in Game 6 of the 2020 World Series, Cash suffered a brain cramp and failed to do the smart thing here. He overthought having Snell-who only threw 73 pitches-continue in the game as he was worried about him having to face Los Angeles Dodger batters for the third time. It cost him the game and the series.
Obviously, the All-Star game lacks the pressure a World Series game involves but Cash wilted at the moment in a meaningless game. For some reason, pulling a guy from a World Series game seemed an easier decision for him than getting all his guys a chance to hit in an exhibition game.
While in the grand scheme of things this might not seem like a big deal but it is for the players. Especially for those like Anderson who were making their first appearance in the game. 40 players made their All-Star debuts including Anderson’s teammate Carlos Rodon, who also didn’t get in the game but will be starting the first game against the Houston Astros when the mythical second half of the season begins on Friday.
There are no guarantees guys like Anderson will be All-Stars again so to be able to record an out in the field or step into the batter’s box is a moment these players will cherish forever. That’s what makes Cash’s managerial decision regarding Anderson tough to take.
While I think Anderson will always remember his first All-Star appearance with great fondness, I think he’ll also carry the disappointing part of that memory into future games this year with the Tampa Bay Rays.