Home Sports Luis Robert gets a rest in the City Series opener, but the White Sox CF is responding well after returning from a groin strain

Luis Robert gets a rest in the City Series opener, but the White Sox CF is responding well after returning from a groin strain

by staff

Luis Robert raced to first base, looking to extend Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels after hitting a grounder to shortstop Andrew Velazquez.

The Chicago White Sox center fielder was called out on a bang-bang play.


“I was pretty confident that I was safe,” Robert said through an interpreter Sunday.

A video review confirmed Robert’s thoughts. The call was reversed, momentarily keeping alive a Sox rally.


The Sox couldn’t complete the comeback, but Robert’s display of speed was a good sign as he makes his way back from a groin strain.

“Feeling good,” Robert said in English.

Robert suffered the injury April 21 in Cleveland while running out a groundout.

“Thank God it wasn’t anything serious,” he said. “It was more like a soreness and I was able to get a lot of treatment and I was able to come back in just six days. That was very good.”

The Sox elected not to place Robert on the injured list, and he returned Friday. Robert remained confident he wouldn’t have an extended absence after being limited to 68 games last season because of a hip flexor strain suffered running to first against Cleveland at Guaranteed Rate Field.

“Last year was different,” he said. “I was able to walk (on April 21) and it wasn’t the same pain that I had last year. I was not really concerned about it.”

Robert went 3 for 4 with a run in Monday’s 3-0 victory against the Angels.

“I’m excited just to see him in the lineup,” Sox first baseman José Abreu said through an interpreter last week. “He’s not my son, but I treat him like one of mine.


“If he has the right mindset, he knows what he needs to do in order to stay healthy for a long season, then good. I think he’s going to be able to do that, and if he’s in the lineup, we’re better because he’s there.”

Robert was slashing .246/.258/.426 with three home runs and six RBIs in 15 games entering Tuesday’s City Series opener against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

“He’s one of the main catalysts of our offense,” Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito said last week. “He’s unreal in center field. So it’s good to have him back. We’ve dealt with a lot of injuries and things like that over the course of the year, so having such an important player like Luis, it feels good.”

The Sox gave Robert a chance to rest Tuesday, as he was not in the starting lineup.

“We debated it a lot. He’s starting to swing good,” Sox manager Tony La Russa said before Tuesday’s game.

Robert is 6 for 17 (.353) with a three-run home run in four games since returning from the injury. Some of his outs have been loud, such as a fifth-inning lineout to center Friday against the Angels that had an exit velocity of 114.8 mph.


“I feel pretty good right now,” he said of his approach at the plate. “Unfortunately, I’m hitting the ball where there is somebody to catch the ball. But, hey, I’m going to keep trying and I’m going to try to figure out a way to get the hits.”

The hits fell Monday. La Russa said Robert has looked “outstanding” since returning.

“He’s one of the guys that keys everything we do defensively and offensively,” La Russa said. “But it’s a long season and he’ll play (Wednesday) night.”

Robert is tied for third in the American League with five stolen bases. He hasn’t attempted to steal since returning but feels like he’s ready to take off.

“I think I can do all the stuff that I usually do on the field, but I know the team is a little bit concerned,” Robert said. “They want to control a little bit my running game, then right now I’m a red light.”

Robert is confident the Sox offense as a whole will get going, pointing to Sunday’s five-run rally in the ninth in a 6-5 loss as a positive sign.


“That’s the team that we are,” he said. “I think that’s the team that from now on everybody is going to see day in and day out.”

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