David Robertson faces trade rumors head on
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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Believe closer David Robertson when he says he’d ‘‘love to stay’’ with the White Sox. He likes the team, he and his wife have a home in Chicago and they are expecting their second child next month.
Some stability would be welcome, but Robertson knows what’s going on, too, so he’s prepared to deal with whatever lies ahead. All he can do is face trade rumors head on, which he has done while performing at a high level.
‘‘I know what they’re trying to do here; they’ve already labeled it as a rebuilding team,’’ Robertson said before the Sox played the Angels on Tuesday. ‘‘So if I’m traded to help them in that process, that’s just the way it works.’’
Robertson, who signed a four-year, $46 million contract with the Sox as a free agent before the 2015 season, hasn’t hurt his value this season. He is 2-1 with a 3.21 ERA, five saves in seven chances and 20 strikeouts in 14 innings after allowing two runs in the 11th inning of the Sox’ 7-6 loss to the Angels.
Teams such as the contending Washington Nationals, to name one, need late-inning relief help, and the Sox will listen to offers between now and the non-waiver trade deadline Aug. 1.
‘‘Physically, I definitely feel better this year,’’ Robertson said. ‘‘I tried to focus on my health more and lost [seven or eight] pounds.
‘‘The biggest thing on the mound is I’m throwing the right pitches in the right counts. When I get beat, it’s going to be with my best pitch.’’
Robertson has managed to perform well despite the uneasiness of not knowing how long he’ll be with the Sox. It’s hard not to be distracted when teammates occasionally kid him about trade rumors and media mention them regularly.
‘‘You guys are going to ask that question, I get it, and it’s going to be a story till something happens or doesn’t happen,’’ Robertson said. ‘‘Obviously, I don’t have control over it; White Sox management will make that decision. I try to put it in the back of my mind, come here to play baseball and win some ballgames.’’
Progress for Jones
Right-hander Nate Jones, who has been on the disabled list since May 4 with neuritis in his elbow, played catch up to 90 feet Monday and is gearing up for a bullpen session in the next couple of days.
‘‘Pretty solid,’’ Jones said. ‘‘Some good tosses with a little crow hop.’’
It’s too soon to know whether Jones will need a minor-league rehab assignment or whether a simulated game or two will suffice before he’s activated.
The good news is that the elbow feels good.
‘‘I didn’t like how it felt when it was at its worst,’’ Jones said. ‘‘But it feels awesome right now, thankfully.’’
Tom Paciorek will fill in for TV analyst Steve Stone during the Sox’ four-game series Thursday-Sunday in Seattle. Stone is taking the series off.
Paciorek, who has served as an occasional fill-in in recent years, and play-by-play man Ken Harrelson were Sox broadcast partners for much of the 1990s.
Follow me on Twitter @CST_soxvan.