Luis Robert will not return this season after the Chicago White Sox placed the center fielder on the 10-day injured list Saturday with a sprained left wrist.
Before the announcement, Robert had started just six of the team’s 26 games since Aug. 26 because of a bruised left hand, left wrist soreness and a Sept. 2-3 stint on the paternity list.
The IL stint comes with 11 games remaining for the Sox, who entered Saturday eight games back in the American League Central.
“Luis, similar to a handful of other guys out there, deserves a lot of credit for trying to fight through the pain and contribute as much as he could over the past couple of weeks,” general manager Rick Hahn said Saturday.
“Given the fact the discomfort seems to be persisting, I think you’ve all seen it as various at-bats and games have gone on, and the way games have played out the past week, we feel it’s better just to shut him down and get him completely healthy, which is expected to occur with the passage of time.”
Robert exited an Aug. 12 game against the Detroit Tigers with a sprained left wrist after attempting to steal second base in the sixth inning. He returned to the lineup Aug. 20.
Robert swung one-handed during a couple of his at-bats Aug. 25 against the Orioles in Baltimore and didn’t make another start until Sept. 5 against the Mariners in Seattle.
The next night, he got hit while swinging at the first pitch of his second-inning at-bat against the Mariners. He continued the at-bat after being evaluated by the training staff and did not swing again, eventually striking out looking.
He took two strikes and a ball in his fifth-inning at-bat, then swung with one hand and missed to strike out in the fifth. He left with the bruised left hand.
“Unfortunately I think the hit by pitch was a real factor,” Hahn said. “He was making real good progress before then. Given that it was what we were originally dealing with — a sprain and wrist — and repetitive use was going to be a challenge over time while you’re ramping back up.
“So it’s conceivable had he not been hit by a pitch, it would have starting barking at some point, but certainly getting hit accelerated the pain response in that area.”
Robert slashed .284/.319/.426 with 12 homers, 56 RBIs, 54 runs and 11 stolen bases in 97 games. But he was 1-for-28 (.036) since Aug. 25 after slashing .407/.462/.627 in his previous 17 games.
“I’m sure (head trainer) James (Kruk) in the back of his head or the doctors in the back of their heads are concerned about all scenarios, but the highest probability is with time he’ll be fine,” Hahn said. “They’ve done a lot of studies on that.
“And Luis has seen three different specialists just to confirm that everyone is on the same page. At this point, the overwhelming belief is that with the passage of time, the issue will resolve itself and he’ll be fine.”
The Sox recalled outfielder Mark Payton from Triple-A Charlotte, reinstated reliever Joe Kelly from the family medical leave list and optioned pitcher Tanner Banks to Charlotte.