In a White Sox season to forget, Robert had a year to remember
Here's a tip for new general manager Chris Getz as he tackles the difficult job of getting the White Sox back to playing competitive baseball:
Find 10 or 20 more players like Luis Robert Jr.
That's an impossible task, of course, because there aren't too many all-around talents like Robert in MLB.
"Really, his whole game has been spectacular," manager Pedro Grifol said.
With only six games left to play in one of the most miserable seasons in the Sox's 123-year history, it's been Robert and not much else.
"He's got really good work ethic," Grifol said. "I saw it in the spring and I was like, 'OK, maybe this is the spring. He's getting after it in the spring.' He gets after it every single day. He has that determination to be great."
Heading into the season, Robert was determined to stay healthy and the 26-year-old center fielder set a goal of playing 150 games.
In his first two full seasons with the White Sox -- 2021 and 2022 -- injuries limited Robert to 166 total games.
"I said it before, my goal this year is to play as many games as I can," Robert said through a translator. "I won't let any minor issues or soreness or stuff keep me off the field. I'm going to do everything in my power to play every day and have a strong finish to the season. That's my goal, to try to be able to finish this season strong."
Robert was doing just that, but he's probably done for the year after exiting Sunday's 3-2 win at Boston with a sore left knee.
After drawing a walk in the first inning, Robert suffered the knee injury stealing second base. He was examined Monday in Chicago and the Sox should have a health update Tuesday before opening a three-game series against the Diamondbacks at Guaranteed Rate Field.
With nothing to play for this season except trying to avoid 100 losses, there's no sense in playing Robert if he's less than 100%.
Even if he's done for the year, Robert has put together one of the best offensive seasons in franchise history.
In 145 games, he's hitting .264/.315./542 with 36 doubles, 38 home runs, 80 RBI and 20 stolen bases.
Robert joins Magglio Ordonez as the only player in White Sox history to put up 35 or more doubles, 30 or more homers and 20 or more steals in a season.
"He does things with ease and there's not much effort to it," Grifol said. "That's why sometimes the perception is out there where, does he care? I can tell you, he cares more than anybody I've ever been around. He just does things with ease. But he's got the will to be great, he wants to be great and he works on every facet of his game."
Defensively, Robert has a good shot at winning his second Gold Glove.
"Oh my goodness, he's unbelievable," Sox starting pitcher Mike Clevinger said. "Especially his first step. Watch his first step and look at all the ground he covers. It's like he's standing at shortstop reading the ball off the bat. It's crazy to see."