Sunday, May 22, 2022

Luis Robert To Join White Sox Tomorrow In Minnesota


The White Sox are inching closer and closer to returning to full health for the first time all season long. Luis Robert, who has been sidelined for months with a hamstring, will make his long-awaited return to the White Sox tomorrow in Minnesota.

Robert will bring his gold-glove defense, blazing speed, and raw power to the team. Before his injury, he was hitting the ball very well.

In just 25 games this year, Robert has a slash line of .316/.359/.463 with a 128 wRC+ (28% better than league average at his position) and a 1.0 fWAR. His presence in the lineup will add yet another tough out in an already impressive batting order.

Time To Get Right

As with any injury, there will be an adjustment period in terms of getting timing back and getting used to facing MLB-caliber pitching on a daily basis. We are seeing it now with Eloy, we will probably see it with Luis, and we will see it whenever Yasmani Grandal returns. Luckily, there are still 2 months of the regular season to be played, so by the time October rolls around, the team should really be cooking with gas at the perfect time.

Speaking Of Grandal…

Along with the Luis Robert news today, Tony La Russa said that Grandal could be back in the fold sooner rather than later.

While Eloy and Robert will bring power to a lineup that has been desperately missing it, Grandal brings something else as well: patience.

When Grandal is in the lineup, the offense is almost a full run better per game. He will draw walks, make pitchers work, and protect others around him in the lineup.

Sooner than later we could be seeing a lineup that looks something like this:

Anderson SS, Grandal C, Abreu 1B, Jimenez DH, Vaughn LF, Moncada 3B, Robert CF, Hernandez 2B, Engel RF.

Depth Is A Good Problem To Have

With Robert about to be back in the fold, outfield spots are going to be hard to come by in the near future. Billy Hamilton, Brian Goodwin, Gavin Sheets, Jake Lamb, and Leury Garcia are all going to see their playing time reduced when the team is back to full strength. Someone will have to get sent down when Robert returns, and in my opinion, I think it will be Gavin Sheets. He has shown that he belongs on an MLB roster but he just hasn’t been getting enough at-bats to continue his development. It’s better, for now, to stash him in Charlotte so he can continue to play every day. When rosters expand in September, I think we should see him called back up.

Get Healthy, Stay Healthy

Now that more stars are returning to the White Sox, it is imperative that they STAY healthy. With the division lead as big as it is already, the White Sox can choose to play it safe so as to not risk any further injuries before the playoffs begin. We’ve already seen what this team can do when it is depleted. Now we’re about to see what they can do at full strength. Hopefully, the devastating injury luck is a thing of the past and the team can stay together in its quest to bring a title back to the South Side for the first time since 2005.

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