Luis Robert out of lineup for second game vs. Guardians originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Luis Robert is not in the White Sox' lineup for the second game of this week's pivotal series against the Cleveland Guardians.
Acting manager Miguel Cairo told reporters before the game that soreness flared up during Robert's final two at-bats of Tuesday's extra-innings loss. Robert has been dealing with left wrist and hand soreness in recent weeks.
The decision was a difficult one for Cairo, given Robert's desire to play.
"Yesterday I asked him how he was feeling and he said, 'I feel better,'" Cairo told reporters of Robert. "He told me, 'Hey, I want to be there no matter what. I want to help the team. I want to be a part of what we're doing right now.'
"He wants to be there. It's a tough decision that I gotta to make, not to put him in there."
AJ Pollock, who started in left field on Tuesday, will man center in Robert's place. Andrew Vaughn is slated to start in left and Gavin Sheets in right. Adam Engel, who spelled Vaughn as a defensive replacement on Tuesday, is also available off the bench.
Robert is an integral player on both sides of the ball for the Sox, but has clearly been hampered since first injuring his left wrist on Aug. 12. In 15 games since then, he is slashing .156/.192/.222 without a home run. He went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts in Tuesday's game.
The White Sox, meanwhile, are clawing for their playoff lives on Wednesday after Tuesday's loss dropped them five games back of Cleveland for the AL Central division lead with 14 to play — six games back if you factor in that the Guardians' win clinched them the head-to-head tiebreak with Chicago.
FanGraphs gives Cleveland a 96.9 percent chance of winning the division, and the White Sox a 6.3 percent chance of making the postseason, entering Wednesday's game.
"Just because we lost yesterday, that don't mean that we're out of it," Cairo told reporters. "Today's a new day, we gotta come back and play and do our job."
NBC Sports Chicago's Tim Stebbins contributed.
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