Prior to Monday's game against the Kansas City Royals, Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa spoke on outfielder Luis Robert. The Sox skipper shared a bit of somewhat good news but left plenty of room for ambiguity. James Fegan of The Athletic reported the mixed bag of comments.
There's a lot to unpack here. Let's start with the semi-positive update.
Robert has not appeared in a White Sox game since July 15 due to lightheadedness and blurred vision. It seemed those symptoms had eased up a bit, as the club sent him on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Charlotte on July 28. However, Robert played in just one game with the Knights before experiencing cold symptoms.
Instead of remaining in Charlotte, Robert appeared in the White Sox clubhouse Sunday. According to La Russa, the centerfielder's cold symptoms are clearing up and he was feeling better Sunday. That's the extent of the good news.
Now for the ambiguity. Despite the seemingly improved status that could have resulted in a potential Wednesday return, La Russa said Robert likely will not play during the White Sox's three-game series against the Royals. Furthermore, the Sox manager is unsure about Robert potentially returning to Charlotte for further rehab assignment games.
Finally, the most important factor in Luis Robert returning to the White Sox received no clarity. Are Robert's lightheadedness and blurred vision symptoms improving? Per Fegan's reporting, La Russa deflected that question, leaving no clear-cut answer.
Causes For Concern
Upon examining these comments, there seem to be more questions than answers regarding Luis Robert. Let's examine a series of facts that result in causes for concern regarding the star centerfielder.
- Blurred vision and lightheadedness are much different than an arm or a leg injury.
- Robert's symptoms had not subsided after the club returned from the All-Star break, leading to an injured list designation.
- The 24-year-old was eligible to return from the injured list on July 29. He did not return.
- Robert appeared in just one game during his oddly abbreviated rehab assignment.
- Thrusting Robert directly back into action at the MLB level would be uncharacteristic of the White Sox, leading to questions about the nature of his return to Chicago.
- Tony La Russa and Rick Hahn have not been able to give clear-cut answers about the cause of Robert's symptoms.
Luis Robert is an integral part of the Chicago White Sox's ideal lineup. If Sox intend to make a push for the AL Central title, they are best positioned to do so with the Cuban phenom in the mix. Currently residing in information limbo, there is no definitive return date for Robert in place.