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Tim Anderson first up in White Sox's search for leadoff hitter

Tim Anderson led off the first White Sox Cactus League game of the season Saturday, and there's a possibility he might see many more plate appearances out of that spot this year.When the Sox traded Adam Eaton in the offseason, they lost a player who led...

Tim Anderson first up in White Sox's search for leadoff hitter

Tim Anderson led off the first White Sox Cactus League game of the season Saturday, and there's a possibility he might see many more plate appearances out of that spot this year.When the Sox traded Adam Eaton in the offseason, they lost a player who led...

25 February 2017 Saturday 20:03
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Tim Anderson first up in White Sox's search for leadoff hitter

Tim Anderson led off the first White Sox Cactus League game of the season Saturday, and there's a possibility he might see many more plate appearances out of that spot this year.

When the Sox traded Adam Eaton in the offseason, they lost a player who led off 119 games last year. Beyond that, only Anderson started in the leadoff spot in more than twice.

Anderson batted first in 41 games and second in 48, and his splits were similar in the two positions. He had a slash line of .279/.303/.419 leading off and .278/.296/.409 out of the second spot.

But Anderson's 117 strikeouts and .306 on-base percentage could cause the Sox to consider other options.

"He could be a leadoff guy, but he's not a prototypical leadoff guy because everybody looks at his on-base as being an issue," Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "He's a hitter. So through the course of the spring we'll mix in different guys and see where we're at.

"We have some guys who have led off in their careers. There are men who have not necessarily been in that position, but if you put them there maybe you find something clicks. We have a long spring and a lot of opportunities."

Charlie Tilson, if healthy, and Tyler Saladino might be other options.

Anderson said he would look to see more pitches and cut down on his strikeouts, but he also acknowledged he didn't want to change his approach too much. He was 1-for-3 with a double and a strikeout Saturday.

"I definitely want to cut down my strikeouts, just be able to set the tone in the right way and lead this team in the right way," Anderson said. "If I'm going to be the leadoff hitter, I prefer to set the table the right way."

Photos from the Dodgers-White Sox spring training game on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017, at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona.

Missing the action: The Sox were missing three potential starters in the spring opener.

Third baseman Todd Frazier was out as he continues to cover from a left oblique strain. Matt Davidson, who is expected to vie for a spot as a backup third baseman and designated hitter, started in his place.

Second baseman Brett Lawrie also sat out because his left leg, which put him on the disabled list for the final two months of the 2016 season, "didn't feel quite right," Renteria said.

Tilson is recovering from a stress reaction in his right foot but said Saturday he's "moving in the right direction." He is rehabbing his surgically repaired left hamstring and jogging on an aqua treadmill.

"I should be swinging it again in the next few days to a week or so depending on how things go," Tilson said. "But I'm close for sure."

Nice start: Carson Fulmer said he felt like he picked up where he left off in Triple-A Charlotte last year when he pitched two scoreless innings in the Cactus League opener against the Dodgers.

Fulmer said he was able to establish his fastball and his cutter, though his changeup and curveball weren't quite there yet. He struck out three and was pleased to work his way out of the first inning after he walked Justin Turner and gave up a single to Yasmani Grandal.

"I did a good job of minimizing the situation," he said. "That was something in the past I haven't been able to figure out — guy on first and second, two-out walk and being able to keep it there."

Caption White Sox catcher Zack Collins on his Catcus League debut

White Sox catcher and 2016 draft pick Zack Collins reacts after his Cactus League debut on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017. (Colleen Kane/Chicago Tribune)

White Sox catcher and 2016 draft pick Zack Collins reacts after his Cactus League debut on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017. (Colleen Kane/Chicago Tribune)

Caption White Sox catcher Zack Collins on his Catcus League debut

White Sox catcher and 2016 draft pick Zack Collins reacts after his Cactus League debut on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017. (Colleen Kane/Chicago Tribune)

White Sox catcher and 2016 draft pick Zack Collins reacts after his Cactus League debut on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017. (Colleen Kane/Chicago Tribune)

Caption Carson Fulmer on pitching two scoreless innings in spring opener

White Sox pitcher Carson Fulmer reacts after throwing two scoreless innings in the team's exhibition opener against the Dodgers on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017. (Colleen Kane/Chicago Tribune)

White Sox pitcher Carson Fulmer reacts after throwing two scoreless innings in the team's exhibition opener against the Dodgers on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017. (Colleen Kane/Chicago Tribune)

Caption White Sox manager Rick Renteria on Brett Lawrie's leg injury

White Sox manager Rick Renteria on Brett Lawrie's leg injury. (Colleen Kane/Chicago Tribune) 

White Sox manager Rick Renteria on Brett Lawrie's leg injury. (Colleen Kane/Chicago Tribune) 

Caption Rick Renteria on the Sox's Cactus League opener

White Sox manager Rick Renteria discusses his approach to the team's the Cactus League opener on Saturday on Feb. 24, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (Colleen Kane/Chicago Tribune)

White Sox manager Rick Renteria discusses his approach to the team's the Cactus League opener on Saturday on Feb. 24, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (Colleen Kane/Chicago Tribune)

Caption Carson Fulmer on starting the Sox's Cactus League opener

Pitcher Carson Fulmer discusses his role in starting the White Sox's Cactus League opener as well as the changes he made toward the end of last season on Feb. 24, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (Colleen Kane/Chicago Tribune)

Pitcher Carson Fulmer discusses his role in starting the White Sox's Cactus League opener as well as the changes he made toward the end of last season on Feb. 24, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (Colleen Kane/Chicago Tribune)

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