As far as talent goes, the 2021 White Sox have no shortage of it.
As far as luck goes, well, that’s a different story.
First, the team lost a potential MLB home run king in Eloy Jimenez a week before the season kicked off. While that was absolutely a devastating injury, the Sox still had a handful of star position players to carry the load.
Now though, the team will be without Luis Robert and things have gone from bad to worse. Robert had been on fire at the plate as of late and seemed like he was starting to blossom into the superstar we all expected him to be. Instead, another hole will be opened up in the lineup and yet another player will be forced to step up.
Oh no no no no no. Luis Robert down.
PLEASE be better than it looks! pic.twitter.com/TXCJylOZmI
— Ben Verlander (@Verly32) May 2, 2021
Rick Hahn May Be Forced To Make A Deal
At this point, Rick Hahn can’t afford to sit on his hands and watch Leury Garcia and Billy Hamilton get 600+ at-bats this year. Mitch Haniger would be an interesting option from Seattle, or if they really want to go for a home run, they could at least inquire about Kris Bryant. Adam Engel will be back with the team at the end of May, but he’s only proven that he can hit left-handed pitching. Either way, this will be a difficult obstacle for the team to overcome the rest of the year.
Luis Robert was examined today at Rush and a scan showed a grade 3 strain (complete tear) of the hip flexor. Further consultation and examination in the coming days will determine if surgery or rest and rehabilitation is needed for recovery.
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) May 3, 2021
White Sox general manager Rick Hahn announces Luis Robert is expected to be held out of baseball activities for the next 12-16 weeks
— James Fegan (@JRFegan) May 3, 2021
Pitching Will Have To Carry The Load
As good as the White Sox offense has been, it will definitely take a big step back with this latest news. The good news is that the pitching has been equally dominant. Carlos Rodon has been the biggest surprise, posting a 0.74 ERA so far while throwing a no-hitter. Dylan Cease had the best outing of his career last week, throwing a complete game shutout (7 innings). Michael Kopech is looking like the most talented pitcher on the roster, and Lance Lynn has been as advertised.
Best-case scenario, Luis Robert is back from his torn hip flexor in late August. It’s going to take at least a few weeks to get ramped back up once he can get back into the swing of things. An awful break for the White Sox, who will explore acquiring a replacement. https://t.co/ewrwHsIYYe
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) May 3, 2021
Still Hope For Robert To Return
As Jeff Passan Said, Robert could potentially be back with the team in August, which is roughly the same time Eloy could make his return. Either way though, Rick Hahn has to make a move. Otherwise, the lineup would look something like this:
Garcia and Hamilton are fine players if their main role is coming off the bench late in the game for defense or to start once a week at most. But for the two of them to get consistent plate appearances over the course of a 162 game season is just not good for the offense.
The baseball gods have not been kind to the White Sox so far to start 2021. Rick Hahn has a job to do, but the thing is, everyone knows it. Hahn holds no leverage and might have to give up more than he would like. At the end of the day, no team can overcome the loss of 2 potential 5+ WAR players. There’s no other way to put it: this flat-out sucks. Let’s hope the White Sox fortunes start to turn around… and fast.