The baseball gods are cruel sometimes. Chicago White Sox fans were calling for Andrew Vaughn to get more playing time in left field. It looks like they are going to get their wish but in a twist of fate, it will come at the expense of Luis Robert.
The Chicago White Sox are thankful that the injury wasn’t as bad as it initially looked.
Robert strained his right hip flexor while legging out an infield single but went tumbling to the ground after reaching first base. He was down on the ground wincing in pain for a long time and when he was finally helped off of the field he was unable to put any weight on his right leg.
Just like that, three of the White Sox top four outfielders have been lost to injury. Eloy Jimenez is slated to miss most of the season with a torn pectoral. Meanwhile, Adam Engel, who would assume responsibilities in center field, has yet to play a game this season due to a hamstring strain suffered during Spring Training.
He was expected to be back in the first two weeks and was not. Now the question is when will he return? The timetable has been constantly pushed back so he may not be able to help the White Sox stabilize the outfield in time. Tony La Russa added to the confusion when he said that there is currently no date for his return from the injured list.
The White Sox desperately needs his services. He put together a solid 2020 season at the plate and carried that confidence over to this season. He is also s Gold Glove-caliber center fielder. With him out of the equation, there will be added pressure on Andrew Vaughn. Vaughn will be expected to pick up some of the offensive slack created by Robert’s absence. Out of all the White Sox available outfielders, he has the most power by far. It has also looked like he is starting to figure it out at the plate. The rookie has a .391 average in his last seven games and a .478 slugging percentage.
Unfortunately for the White Sox Vaughn is unable to play center field. He is already making an adjustment playing in left field for the first time. It will be up to three other players on the White Sox roster to step up in centerfield in Robert’s absence.