White Sox manager Tony La Russa says he didn’t hear fan telling him to use pinch runner

“Make his day, tell him I heard him,” La Russa said.

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White Sox manager Tony La Russa

Manager Tony La Russa of the White Sox looks out at the field before the start of a game against the Kansas City Royals at Guaranteed Rate Field on August 2, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)


It was a fun little internet story for a half-day. A fan near the White Sox’ dugout was urging manager Tony La Russa to use Adam Engel as a pinch runner for Eloy Jimenez at second base in the eighth inning of the Sox’ 4-2 victory Monday against the Astros at the same time La Russa was calling for time to make the change.

It would be nearly impossible for a voice to be heard in the dugout over a noisy crowd, and La Russa said he didn’t hear it.

‘‘Where was he?’’ La Russa said Tuesday.

When told where, La Russa smiled and said: ‘‘Make his day. Tell him I heard him.’’

The video went viral because La Russa went onto the field to call time before sending Engel to second in place of Jimenez. The fan was interviewed on local radio. And Engel, who advanced to third on a walk, scored on Yoan Moncada’s tiebreaking two-run single.

La Russa said he and coaches Miguel Cairo and Jerry Narron were discussing whether to risk losing Jimenez’s bat in the ninth or 10th inning.

‘‘Just ask [the fan] if he thought about the 10th inning and the bases are loaded with one out,’’ La Russa said. ‘‘Ask him if he thought about that. I mean, it was a tough call.’’

Robert a maybe for Wednesday

Center fielder Luis Robert (sprained left wrist) passed tests in all phases but swinging, although La Russa said pinch-hitting Tuesday wasn’t out of the question.

Indications are Robert will play Wednesday against the Astros.

Anderson sighting

Shortstop Tim Anderson, in uniform for the team photo before the game, was seen for the first time since having surgery for a torn sagittal band on the middle finger of his left hand. Anderson will have the cast removed Thursday and would be due back in less than five weeks.

‘‘He’s a quick healer,’’ La Russa said. ‘‘He’s always been sooner rather than later [with injuries], but he still has a cast on his finger. Once he starts getting functional, it’ll happen pretty fast. Not real fast.’’

Rookie Lenyn Sosa started for the third time at shortstop.

Ruiz thankful for position switch

Reliever Jose Ruiz’s conversion from catcher to pitcher, at the behest of then-Padres minor-league pitching coordinator Mark Prior in 2016, made sense.

‘‘I was a bad hitter,’’ said Ruiz, who was hitting .215 with no home runs in three low levels of the minors that season.

Ruiz joked he batted .300 in the minors.

‘‘Yes, three years,’’ he said. ‘‘A hundred, a hundred and a hundred.’’

Even so, when Prior first broached the subject in the middle of the season, ‘‘I thought it was a joke,’’ Ruiz said.

But Ruiz took to pitching immediately and, fast-forward to 2022, finds himself carving out a major-league career. After posting a 3.05 ERA in 59 games and one scoreless postseason appearance in 2021, Ruiz (3.94 ERA) is second on the Sox with 48 appearances after pitching a scoreless sixth against the Astros, two behind reliever Kendall Graveman.

Signed as a catcher by the Padres out of Venezuela in 2011 at age 16, Ruiz hadn’t pitched since he was 11. But he didn’t allow a run in his first 11 appearances in the low minors. The Sox claimed Ruiz on waivers after he posted a 5.98 ERA in 44 appearances at High-A in 2017.

Ruiz said he misses catching occasionally, ‘‘but everything happens for a reason. I’m glad to be working every day to get better as a pitcher, and I thank God that he let me be here.’’

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