Team USA manager Mark DeRosa showed over the 2023 World Baseball Classic that he was not afraid to make major lineup and positional changes. For one, he called on Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson to move on over to the second base position.
Anderson does not have any major league experience patrolling second base, as he has primarily featured as a shortstop in his ongoing run with the White Sox. In the end, Anderson wound up starting as a second baseman in each of Team USA’s last five games of this year’s edition of the World Baseball Classic, including in the final against Japan.
Anderson was at first not much enthusiastic about the idea of taking hold of the second base position for Team USA.
“At first I wasn’t open to it, but I wanted my bat to be in the lineup, so I wanted to play,” Anderson said following his return to White Sox camp. “So moving over to second, it wasn’t easy, but I was kind of familiar going over [on that side of the field] in the shift. So it definitely worked out.”
Anderson, who hit .333 at the World Baseball Classic, will be the White Sox’s go-to shortstop in the 2023 campaign. The two-time All-Star sees that he still has plenty left in the tank to be an everyday shortstop, but he would be open to a move to second base later in his career.
“We’ll keep playing our time at short until we see what happens,” Anderson said. “But right now our main focus is getting back over at short, see where that leads me in the next few years.
“I’ll still be open to second, but once I’m done with short, we’ll see how it goes.”
In the big picture, White Sox manager Pedro Grifol will rely on both Anderson and Elvis Andrus to help lead the way in the infield this year.
“Tim’s our everyday shortstop, Elvis our everyday second baseman,” Grifol said on Thursday. “If I give a day off to Elvis, somebody else will play second. If I give a day off to Tim, Elvis will play short. That’s a luxury, in my opinion. Not too many teams have two shortstops on the same team with that type of experience.”
The White Sox will open up their 2023 campaign with a four-game road series against the Houston Astros.