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The first rumblings about Brian Anderson

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The White Sox knew Brian Anderson was going to struggle at the plate during his rookie season. They knew there were going to be times where his only value to the team was for his defense. They've done the best they could to shield him from criticism and protect him in the lineup, but now we're starting to hear murmurs from Ozzie and the media.

"It's getting to the point where I don't want him to be embarrassed," Guillen said.

"It's not an easy situation for him or for me," Guillen said. "I want it for him. But in the meanwhile, we're not building. This is not the Instructional League. This team is built to win as many games as we can. Right now it doesn't seem uglier because we're winning."

You can see Anderson's approach at the plate change day-to-day.
  • The first week or so he had no plan. He just reacted to the pitch.
  • Then he tried to "slow his bat down," which doesn't even sound like it would work.
  • Then he tried to be more patient, but he got too passive and couldn't handle many two-strike pitches.
  • On the recent West Coast swing, he looked balanced and relaxed at the plate. He appeared comfortable for the first time, but the results weren't there.
  • In Cleveland, he got agressive. And these may have been the most troubling at bats of the season, because when you swing early in the count you expect to make good contact. Anderson was making contact, but he wasn't squaring the ball at all. He made numerous weak ground-ball outs and pop-ups, in addition to striking out 3 times on Monday.
All of this comes at the same time the White Sox have shifted Ryan Sweeney to center field in Charlotte, and as Dave Wilder is highlighting Sweeney's easy conversion to the position.
Farm director Dave Wilder said Sweeney has played major-league-caliber defense in center field after playing most of his career in right.
Sweeney had his average up to .297 a couple of days ago. He does have better bat control than Anderson, but he's just now getting adjusted to AAA pitching after striking out an inordinate amount in his first few weeks at Charlotte.

Anderson will get more time to either hit, or prove he's not ready, but it appears pretty clear who the White Sox think is their next-best option. In the mean time, expect them to move towards more of a platoon situation with Mackowiak and Anderson getting about equal time.