CLEVELAND — After watching the White Sox’ previous three games from a suite in Oakland and Guaranteed Rate Field, manager Tony La Russa didn’t make the trip for the one-game stop Thursday in Cleveland for the game against the Guardians.
La Russa, 77, missed his 16th game as he awaits medical clearance from his cardiologist to return to managing, and it remained uncertain whether he would return to the dugout for any of the Sox’ last 18 games.
While there is respect and affection for La Russa, as well as concern for his health, in the Sox’ clubhouse, there are also strong feelings that allowing bench coach Miguel Cairo to continue as acting manager through the season would be best for all involved.
‘‘One hundred percent,’’ one clubhouse source told the Sun-Times.
Strong sentiment to keep Cairo at the helm is known to be shared in important pockets of the front office, as well. After all, the Sox are 11-5 under Cairo and playing with a level of urgency the decision-makers and fans have waited for all season.
La Russa, meanwhile, has stayed in contact with Cairo and Sox coaches during his absence and spent time in the clubhouse and his office in Oakland and Guaranteed Rate Field. Of the three games La Russa watched in person, the Sox lost two.
Cairo showed his respect for La Russa in the manager’s office after the Sox’ 8-2 victory Thursday, not seating himself in the manager’s chair while talking with the media.
‘‘El Capitan’s,’’ he said.
Sox fans on social media overwhelmingly have voiced a low approval rating of La Russa, however, and were happy when it became known La Russa didn’t travel with the team to Cleveland and isn’t expected to be in Detroit for the team’s weekend series, either.
Robert out with sore wrist
In a last-minute decision, center fielder Luis Robert was left off the lineup card because of a sore left wrist, an injury that might be problematic during the final 2½ weeks of the season.
Robert said he was OK to play but admitted the wrist can worsen later in games, and Cairo said he ‘‘didn’t want to risk anything.’’
AJ Pollock started in center field.
‘‘He wants to be there for the team,’’ Cairo said. ‘‘We’re all fighting to make it to our goal, the playoffs. But if he’s sore, sometimes the desire to play is going to make you do something or want to play with that kind of pain. Right now we’re going to go with the guys who are healthy, just for today.’’
Shortstop Elvis Andrus’ comment Wednesday that the Guardians might ‘‘crumble’’ after their current hot streak got more attention from the Cleveland media than from the Guardians themselves. President of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said he heard about Andrus’ comment but dismissed it as ‘‘outside noise.’’
This and that
Right-hander Lance Lynn’s 2.14 ERA since the All-Star break trails only the Astros’ Justin Verlander (1.69) in the American League among those with 60 innings pitched.
• Closer Liam Hendriks warmed up lightly during the seventh inning, wearing jersey No. 21 on Roberto Clemente Day. Hendriks and reliever Jake Diekman are nominees for the Clemente Award for humanitarian service.
• Guardians right-hander Aaron Civale is slated to start against the Sox on Tuesday, pending a successful outing in his Triple-A rehab appearance Thursday.