White Sox put Andrew Vaughn on COVID IL, bring up Gavin Sheets

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Sox put Andrew Vaughn on COVID IL, bring up Gavin Sheets originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Andrew Vaughn is on the injured list, but the Chicago White Sox are hopeful he won’t be there long.

The team placed its rookie left fielder on the IL before Thursday’s game, following the league’s COVID-19 protocols. General manager Rick Hahn said in the announcement that the White Sox are hoping Vaughn won’t stay there long, a situation that could wind up mirroring those of Dylan Cease and Luis Robert, who went to the injured list for similar reasons earlier this season and returned within a couple days.

That leaves the White Sox, if briefly, without their usual left fielder in an outfield already down a pair of starters. Vaughn has impressed during his rookie season, both with the bat and defensively as he’s played a brand new position in the wake of the injury to Eloy Jiménez in spring training.

RELATED: How Abreu is leading Sox through Eloy, Robert injuries

To take Vaughn’s spot on the active roster, the White Sox called up another converted first baseman who’s been playing the outfield. Gavin Sheets, who impressed manager Tony La Russa during the spring, has been on a tear since the start of the minor league season at Triple-A Charlotte, called up Thursday after posting a .319/.360/.500 slash line to go along with four homers and 20 RBIs in 23 games.

“He was one of the most impressive young guys in camp,” La Russa said of Sheets on Thursday. “The way he swung, the way he worked and the athletic ability. Played first, can go to the outfield. In spring training, he was making plus, plus catches.

“He came in (Thursday) and lit the clubhouse up with his smile, he was so happy to be here. The guys are happy to see him.

“It’s a tough way to be here, but we feel really well — as confident as you can — that this will be a really short thing for Andrew. But the plus is Gavin can come here, and we get the chance to share his excitement.”

It’s unknown how much playing time Sheets will get after his first big league call-up, especially if Vaughn returns in short order. But La Russa said Thursday that Sheets could find his way into the starting lineup Friday against the Detroit Tigers.

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