Luis Robert’s sprained left hand kept the White Sox’ center fielder out of Saturday night’s lineup and perhaps longer.
“He said it felt tight,” manager Tony La Russa said of Robert’s hand, which he injured on a headfirst slide into second base on an unsuccessful steal attempt in the sixth inning of Friday’s 2-0 victory over the Tigers.
“Some soreness. I don’t think he’s done a lot of baseball stuff to see how much he can do, how available he would be during the game. But it’s all related to the wrist being sprained.”
X-rays taken Friday were negative, and Robert’s status remains day-to-day. Robert has played in only eight games (seven starts) since the All-Star break because of blurred vision and his wrist injury. He still leads the Sox with 56 RBI and is second with 12 homers, but his loss further challenges a lineup without All-Star shortstop Tim Anderson for about five weeks because of a torn ligament in his left middle finger.
“We got a lot of practice over two years, and it’s a collective thing,” La Russa said regarding the challenge of not getting discouraged over injuries. “Players know it’s part of the game. Games still count. You concentrate on what you have, not what you’re missing. We respect the guys, we wish we had them, like Tim right now.
“But the games still count, so players and staff, you compete with what you got. This sport is big enough. You got 13 pitchers and 13 other players. You can deal with injuries if your mind is right, and our minds are right.”
Another growth spurt
The maturation process of reliever Reynaldo Lopez took another step forward when he struck out Jeimer Candelario on a 3-2 curve with the go-ahead run at third base to end the seventh inning Friday.
Lopez threw five pitches in the 99-100 mph range during the eight-pitch sequence.
“He’s been taking those clutch situations a lot for a long time,” La Russa said. “Not only you just can’t feature one pitch, and if you’re going to throw your breaking ball, it better be a putaway breaking ball because guys are a little more compact with two strikes.
“To make that pitch in that situation shows you the confidence he has. He can throw a changeup. He’s done that, too. He’s come a long ways.”
Lopez has limited foes to a .200 average (17-for-85) with runners on base, and opponents are 2-for-20 (.100) with runners in scoring position with two outs and 9-for-47 (.191) with runners in scoring position.