Red-hot White Sox prospect Luis Robert sidelined with sore hand

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White Sox prospect Luis Robert. Photo For the Sun-Times by John Antonoff.

DETROIT — Outfield prospect Luis Robert’s steamroll through the Carolina League with the White Sox’ advanced Class A affiliate in Winston-Salem has been temporarily stalled with soreness in his left hand.

Robert is putting up phenomenal numbers for the Dash, hitting .475/.530/.915 with six homers, three triples, four doubles and 18 RBI in 14 games. After going 1-for-2 on Friday at Potomac, he was removed from the game for precautionary reasons with a bruise and is day-to-day. There was no incident in that game that caused the soreness.

Ranked No. 4 among Sox prospects and 39th overall by MLB Pipeline, the 21-year-old’s playing time has been limited by various injuries since he was signed out of Cuba in May 2017, including one to his left thumb during spring training. He went on the Winston-Salem injured list twice last season with a sprained left thumb and was limited to 50 minor-league games between the Arizona League and two Class A levels.

A promotion to Class AA Birmingham is coming — seemingly sooner rather than later at the rate Robert has performed — although it’s unknown if the thumb will affect the timing.

• In other top prospect news, right-hander Zack Burdi and outfielder Luis Basabe are joining low Class A Kannapolis on Monday. Basabe broke a hamate bone during spring training, and Burdi is bouncing back from Tommy John surgery.

Burdi, a first-round draft pick in 2016, pitched in seven games in the Arizona League and five in the Arizona Fall League. He was not invited to major-league camp, then was slowed by a lat strain early in spring training.

Giolito on the mend

Lucas Giolito, who has played catch every day since straining his left hamstring against the Royals on Wednesday, “doesn’t really feel much of anything” and remains hopeful of missing just one start. But that seems optimistic knowing the Sox won’t rush him back into the starting rotation.


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“With a hamstring, they’d rather take a little time and get it back to 100% and not have to worry about it rather than rush it back and it can turn into something way worse,” Giolito said Sunday.

Giolito was hopeful of being cleared to throw a side session in the next few days.

“I knew it was going to be a minor thing from the get-go,” he said. “Because even right after I hurt it, when I was throwing, I threw those three [warmup] pitches before I came out of the game and I was still able to throw north of 90 miles an hour.”

Rotation alterations

Giolito’s injury and a rainout Saturday prompted a reshuffling of the rotation. Manny Banuelos comes out of the bullpen to start Monday, and Ervin Santana will be moved to Wednesday, allowing left-hander Carlos Rodon — with a day off Thursday — to pitch on six days of rest Friday at home against the Tigers.

Santana was skipped to keep Lopez on four days of rest Sunday. Santana now pitches after eight days.

“If I keep ’Los [Rodon] on the [fifth] day [Wednesday], Ervin’s slot wouldn’t come back until later on,” Renteria said. “We wanted Lopey to go ahead and stay at his day.”

Banuelos said he’d be pleased with five good innings Monday. Banuelos threw 61, 49 and 43 pitches in his last three relief appearances, all three innings or more.

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Notes: The team activated left-hander Drew Smyly and optioned sidearmer Jose Cuas to Triple-A.