Tony La Russa still wasn’t managing the White Sox when the team returned home to play a big series against the Guardians at Guaranteed Rate Field. No surprise there. But La Russa wasn’t even in the building Tuesday and isn’t expected during the series.
With 15 games left, it was the latest indication that the Sox might finish out the season with bench coach Miguel Cairo acting as manager. When the Sox were last home for a two-game series against the Rockies last Tuesday and Wednesday, La Russa was in the clubhouse and his office and watched the games from a suite.
La Russa still has not received medical clearance to manage, according to the team. Cairo said he still talks to him every day, though.
“Right now, he [couldn’t be here for] this series, and we don’t expect to see him in this series,” Cairo said. “We’ll just see what’s going to happen.”
The Sox were 13-6 since Cairo took over, enjoying their best stretch in a disappointing season. Even if La Russa were cleared, there is a sense inside the team that the best thing for La Russa’s health and the good of the Sox, considering their recent performance, is to keep the status quo.
That said, La Russa, a 77-year-old Hall of Famer, is respected.
“His fingerprints are all over this clubhouse, this organization,” closer Liam Hendriks said.
“He set the floor plan. Hopefully we can get him back in here at some point, and everyone continues this momentum, but Miggy’s taking it and tweaking it a little bit to a couple of the guys who needed it a little tweaked. And that’s something that’s been fantastic.
“You see a little more energy out there from certain guys. Certain guys are feeling a little more comfortable, as well. It is what it is.”
Shortstop Tim Anderson said he wasn’t ready to play, not for the Sox and not on a rehab assignment. He’s waiting for the surgically repaired middle finger on his left hand to be ready.
Anderson is taking batting practice at full-go and fielding ground balls and looks good, but he’s “really just being patient. Being smart. You have to think about the future, as well, and not just tomorrow, even though the moment is important, but my career is important, as well.”
Anderson hasn’t played in 6œ weeks, so jumping into game action without a couple of games at Charlotte would be a “challenge,” Cairo said. But, as Anderson said, “time is winding down. I definitely wouldn’t want to leave. We’ll see how I feel and how comfortable I am.”
Elvis Andrus, meanwhile, who has been superb in Anderson’s place, will take ground balls at second base and could shift there when Anderson gets back.
Cueto on the mend
Johnny Cueto, who was ill and missed his start in Detroit over the weekend, is slated to start Thursday against the Indians on nine days of rest.
“I feel good, much better today,” said Cueto, who was dealing with sinus-related issues. “I felt weak, and my vision wasn’t right. Body aches, too.”