La Russa: Some players told by trainers to ‘slow it down’ to avoid aggravating injuries

The players are Andrew Vaughn, Jose Abreu, Tim Anderson, AJ Pollock and Luis Robert

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Luis Robert

Luis Robert #88 of the White Sox hits an RBI single in the third inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Guaranteed Rate Field on June 25, 2022 in Chicago

Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

The White Sox have 10 players on their injured list, and that number would expand considerably if it weren’t for some preventive measures instituted by their medical staff.

“We literally have five of the nine guys who are playing under trainer instructions that if they make a routine out, they slow it down,” manager Tony La Russa said Saturday.

Those players are designed hitter/outfielder Andrew Vaughn, first baseman Jose Abreu, shortstop Tim Anderson, left fielder AJ Pollock and center fielder Luis Robert.

La Russa doesn’t blame fans for being upset at what they perceive to be a lack of hustle, but each player has been told to not risk aggravating their ailments and sidelining them indefinitely. 

“If you watch closely, there are extra bases we haven’t taken and you can sit them, but they’re key offensive guys,” La Russa said. “So as long as the fans understand it, they’re not lazy, but their legs are important.”

In Wednesday’s 9-5 loss to the Blue Jays, Robert jogged to first after hitting a single to left field that skipped past Lourdes -Gurriel Jr. for what would have been a triple had Robert not stopped at first.

The alternative would be to rest Robert, but Robert can run “under some sort of control out there,” La Russa said.

Robert moved better Saturday in a 6-2 loss to the Orioles, as he chased down Jonathan Arauz’s drive in the fifth inning and ran out a double in the eighth.

Anderson didn’t start Saturday after Friday night’s game, and he could get another day of rest if his leg soreness persists.

“We can’t risk losing him again,” La Russa said.

Beau knows home run trots

The Sox provided Beau Dowling, a 7-year-old diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma as a toddler, with an “ultimate wish” before the game.

Dowling received player autographs, gifts and a special “Home Run for Life” with Orioles and White Sox players lined up on the foul lines lending support.

Dowling underwent stem cell transplants and multiple rounds of chemotherapy radiation and immunotherapy. He recently was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and underwent surgery earlier this month.

Scheduling changes

The Sox’ July 16 game at Minnesota has been switched to a 2 p.m. start from 1:10 p.m. to accommodate ceremonies honoring pitcher Jim Kaat on his upcoming induction to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. 

† The Sept. 1 game against the Royals now will be shown on YouTube instead of NBC Sports Chicago.

† The start of Saturday’s game was delayed by rain for 1 hour, 21 minutes.

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