PHOENIX – White Sox prospect Luis Robert will miss about 10 weeks with a sprained left thumb, general manager Rick Hahn said Saturday.
The 20-year-old outfielder was hurt sliding into second base on a steal last week.
Hahn said Robert’s thumb will be immobilized for six weeks. It’s hoped he’ll play extended spring training games in early May.
Robert, a native of Cuba, is ranked as high as third among Sox prospects. This spring, he’s shown flashes of why the Sox gave him a $26 million signing bonus last year.
Robert’s injury happened against the Cincinnati Reds before he hit a grand slam. He also doubled off Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen in a minor league game.
“Pretty impressive pain tolerance by this young man, and perhaps also speaks to the speed of the potential recovery here,” Hahn said.
Robert likely will be sent to the minor leagues when he’s ready to leave extended spring training.
“We didn’t see a ton, but what we did see was very impressive,” Hahn said. “Not just in between the white lines during games, but the way he went about his business in drills, the way he fit in with his teammates in the clubhouse and his work ethic all spoke to a very professional approach.”
Robert said he’d never been injured playing in Cuba.
“I was playing with a lot of confidence in the field and feeling good,” Robert said. “Now this happened, and I feel bad.”
White Sox manager Rick Renteria said Robert looked polished for a player his age.
“I told him he was going to be fine,” Renteria said. “No one wants to be hurt ... things like this happen and so we just deal with it.”
Robert said he didn’t put his hand down the proper way when sliding headfirst. He felt something but didn’t feel pain until the next day.
“I knew something was wrong, but in the heat of the game I kept playing,” he said. “I felt I was playing pretty well. I liked that I was able to be around a major league team and players every day, the way Americans play baseball. I’m happy about that.”