Elvis Andrus has been an upgrade over Tim Anderson at shortstop

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OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 10: Elvis Andrus #1 of the Chicago White Sox hits a three-run home run against the Oakland Athletics in the top of the second inning at RingCentral Coliseum on September 10, 2022 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 10: Elvis Andrus #1 of the Chicago White Sox hits a three-run home run against the Oakland Athletics in the top of the second inning at RingCentral Coliseum on September 10, 2022 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Once Tim Anderson returns to the Chicago White Sox after recovering from surgery on his finger, is it possible he won’t be the everyday shortstop?

Probably not but based on the play of Elvis Andrus it isn’t something that should be dismissed right away. Andrus was signed by the White Sox on August 18th following his release from the Oakland A’s.

Since coming over, Andrus has provided a spark to the club both at the plate and in the field that has helped the team inch closer to the Cleveland Guardians in the American League Central division.

The two-time All-Star has provided a boost for the club with the bat and the glove, the latter of which has been most welcome. Going into Saturday’s game with the A’s, Andrus has yet to make an error with the White Sox and has recorded 49 assists in 173 innings.

What may be more impressive is what Andrus has provided at the plate with the Sox. Andrus is currently hitting .298 with five homers and 20 runs batted in.

Two of those RBIs couldn’t have come at a better time as he drove in the go-ahead runs in the ninth inning of the White Sox 5-3 comeback victory Saturday night.

Elvis Andrus has been everything that the White Sox have needed and more.

Andrus has batted in the lead-off spot 11 times this season and has been a more than capable fill-in for Anderson at that position. All five of Andrus’ homers and 16 of his RBIs have come from his batting in the number one slot.

Based on what Andrus has provided for the White Sox, is it too far-fetched to think he should remain at shortstop when Anderson comes back?

Former White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen (who happens to know a thing or two about playing shortstop) thinks that wouldn’t be a bad idea. Guillen spoke about the topic on the Mully and Haugh Show on WSCR-670 The Score and was very candid about his comparison of the two players.

"“I don’t say Elvis Andrus is a better player. He will never be a better player than Tim Anderson. But is he a better shortstop? Yes, by a lot, ” Guillen said. “Is he a better leader? Yes, by a lot-a leader on the field. I don’t know about off the field…But on the field, you can see he goes out and talks to the pitcher, he’s the first one on the mound, he’s the first one to control the infield.”Guillen added, “You talk about the position of playing shortstop, Elvis Andrus is a way better shortstop than TA.”"

Anderson has been a terrific hitter over the last few years as evidenced by his batting average being over .300 the last four years which included his leading the major leagues in 2019 when he hit .335. Prior to his injury, Anderson was hitting .301 with six homers and 25 RBI.

It has been on the fielding side that Anderson has been somewhat of a liability. He committed a career-low 10 errors in 2021 but had 12 this year in 79 games before heading to the injured list.

Anderson would be tied for 12th in the majors in errors committed with Nico Hoerner, Willy Adames, and Geraldo Perdomo, each of whom have played a minimum of 114 games.

He has been the spark for the White Sox as they have made the playoffs in back-to-back years for the first time in team history. He has famously talked about his desire to “change the game” and the team has had success with him leading the way.

But the reality is that this season has been nothing like players and fans had hoped and even with Anderson in the lineup, the team has hovered around the .500 mark and has looked nothing like the team that won 93 games and the AL Central division last year.

While fault for the team’s failures this season can’t be laid solely at Anderson’s feet, it could be said that the team has looked like a better unit with Andrus in the lineup.

Perhaps moving Anderson over to second base might not be a bad move upon his return, which is expected sometime before the end of the season.

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