MINNEAPOLIS — Center fielder Luis Robert sat out while experiencing light-headedness a second straight day Saturday and is doubtful for Sunday, White Sox manager Tony La Russa said.
Robert, the Sox’ hottest hitter of late who was in uniform, was replaced in his customary No. 3 spot in the lineup by designated hitter Andrew Vaughn.
“He’s still not feeling right,” La Russa said.
“They’ve done some preliminary [tests] but waiting until Monday to take a really good look at him.’’
The All-Star break is Monday through Thursday.
The hope is Eloy Jimenez (sore right leg) will be available after the break, although La Russa wasn’t ruling him out as a pinch hitter.
La Russa said general manager Rick Hahn and the training staff considered a 10-day injured-list stint for Jimenez, who has missed three games, “and decided to get through this series. And I agree. We can get through it.”
Robert’s fielding has been off, and defensive metrics tell what eyes have seen. He won a Gold Glove as a rookie in 2020 with eight defensive runs saved, according to FanGraphs, and was at four in 2021. Robert is at minus-4 this season.
Coach Daryl Boston, who works with the outfielders, attributes Robert’s performance to his legs being less than 100%.
“There have been some balls that in the past he was able to get to, but he’s coming off some leg issues and, maybe, some tough skies,” Boston told the Sun-Times. “A lot of it has to do with his legs. He’s not running as much on the bases because of his legs. Some balls [have fallen] in front of him.”
Robert has 11 stolen bases but is 0-for-1 since June 12.
A ball skipped past him for an error in the first inning Friday, and Robert didn’t get a great read on a deep fly ball that was caught, but he might have been affected by what forced him to leave the game. He was on the COVID injured list during the last week of May but has played almost every day since.
“He’s still an elite defender for us,” Boston said. “The level of expectation for him is probably unfair because of what we’ve become accustomed to.”
It’s draft day
The Sox have the 26th pick in the draft Sunday, their lowest first pick since they selected pitcher Kyle McCulloch in 2006, the year after they won the World Series.
They like what they’ve done with their last three top picks — shortstop Colson Montgomery (22nd in 2021), left-hander Garrett Crochet (11th in 2020) and Vaughn (third in 2019), but nailing this one won’t be as easy.
“When you get outside of pick eight or nine, you have no idea what’s going to happen,” scouting director Mike Shirley said. “I don’t think we’ve ever had to work on so many players who possibly could be there at 26.”
Shirley, in his third year as director, said the strength of the class is with college position players as a whole, at the top especially. The Sox’ pick will be a combination of need and best player, he said.
Various mock drafts have the Sox taking high school left-hander Robby Snelling, Oregon State lefty Cooper Hjerpe, East Carolina lefty Carson Whisenhunt, Arizona catcher Daniel Susac and an assortment of high school infielders.
The draft begins at 6 p.m. (ESPN, MLB). The Sox’ first selection will occur around 8:30 p.m.