One of the brightest young stars for the Chicago White Sox, Luis Rober, is nearing a return to baseball after missing nearly 3 months.
He suffered the injury back at the beginning of the season on May 2nd while attempting to leg out an infield single. While the X-rays came back negative initially, the White Sox announced that he suffered a Grade 3 right hip flexor strain. This was not only a big blow for Roberts, but for the White Sox as well.
The White Sox have been dealing with injuries all season long, and this was the last thing they needed. In Spring Training, they had lost their star left fielder Eloy Jimenez for at least 5-6 months. Roberts was crucial for the White Sox success last season as he helped them make the playoffs for the first time since 2008. Although he did not have a great wild card series, he still was able to make some noise in the playoffs and give Chicago fans a sense of hope looking towards the future.
His rookie season was nothing short of incredible as he finished 2nd in Rookie of the Year voting and was awarded Gold Glove at center field. His stats were just a hint at the greatness he can provide for the White Sox. In 56 games he finished with a .233 batting average, a .302 on-base percentage, and a .783 slugging percentage. He also added 11 home runs, batted in 31 runs, and stole 9 bases. If this doesn’t scream five-tool talent, I don’t know what will.
He was off to a great start in 2021 as well, before suffering that injury. He had a .316 batting average and a .822 OPS, well above the league averages. Heading into May 2nd, he had reached base 23 out of 25 games, which was the most in the majors at that moment in time.
Although he only has played 25 games and has 1 home run, he has been delivering on the defensive side like always. He has been a defensive anchor in the outfield, especially since Eloy Jimenez has been ruled out for nearly half the season.
The White Sox have surely missed his presence, but not to the extent that many thought they would. Credit to Tony LaRusso, the new manager, who has given his team motivation throughout the season with injuries and given other players the chance to step in and make an impact. The key to their success this season has been because of the roleplayers being able to step up in big moments and deliver, the addition of Billy Hamilton has been critical for their defense in the outfield.
Just How Close is Luis Roberts?
He had been cleared late June to resume baseball activities, but nothing too extraneous that would cause discomfort or possible reinjury. The initial timeline for that was around 4 weeks, and now we are approaching that end date.
This means that now he will be beginning his rehab session with the White Sox Triple-A affiliate, Charlotte Knights. There is no sudden rush to get him back with the team just because of how crappy the AL Central division is and how successful the White Sox are this season. The White Sox are currently sitting atop the division with a 58-37 record, and 9.5 games ahead of the 2nd placed Cleveland Indians.
Their playoff chances are very high and with Luis Roberts being eased back into the lineup they will surely have him striding to make that final playoff push. White Sox fans are just as eager as the team to see Luis Roberts back on the diamond, and now we finally get a chance to see him, just in rehab.
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