Robert still must master art of slide
Prized center-field prospect Luis Robert completed a steal of second base in the White Sox’ intrasquad game Tuesday at Guaranteed Rate Field with an awkward slide that could have resulted in a lower-body injury.
Sox coaches have worked with Robert to slide feet-first to avoid hand injuries, but third-base coach Nick Capra said Robert was indecisive about which way to go.
‘‘Instead of knowing he needs to slide on his rear end, he got caught in the middle,’’ Capra said. Rest assured, the sight of Robert getting twisted around second base caused some winces and grimaces among Sox staffers. His talent and performance have been the talk of summer camp.
Robert has hurt his thumb three times in the minor leagues and in spring training sliding headfirst and wears a mitt to protect his hand in case he does slide that way. It’s his first instinct, but it’s not how he’s being coached.
‘‘He’s going to be all right,’’ Capra said. ‘‘It has been an issue in the past. We are going to clean it up and get him to where he needs to be.’’
Robert lined a single and made a running catch going back to the wall in the 3oe-inning scrimmage.
Taxi squad announced
The Sox’ initial 16-player taxi squad that will work out at Boomers Stadium in suburban Schaumburg was announced. Workouts begin Wednesday. Here is the list:
Right-handers: Zack Burdi, Ryan Burr, Matt Foster, Brady Lail, Alex McRae, Bryan Mitchell and Jonathan Stiever.
Left-handers: Garrett Crochet, Bernardo Flores Jr., Jacob Lindgren, Adalberto Mejia and Bennett Sousa.
Catcher: Seby Zavala. Outfielders: Micker Adolfo, Luis Gonzalez and Blake Rutherford.
The Sox will have 59 players working out as part of camp — 43 at Guaranteed Rate Field and 16 in Schaumburg.
While not ruling out a majorleague appearance in 2020 for Crochet, a fireballer out of Tennessee, director of player development Chris Getz said having Crochet on board is ‘‘more just getting comfortable with the organization.’’
‘‘I don’t think we need to necessarily focus on a majorleague radar for Garrett,’’ he said.
Grandal doesn’t mask concerns
Many umpires aren’t wearing masks in intrasquad games. Most players aren’t, either. But for Yasmani Grandal, a catcher with an ump over his shoulder, there is some concern.
‘‘I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t worried about it,” Grandal said. ‘‘This is something you have to take very seriously. In my case, it’s not only for my health and my teammates’ [health] but for the health of my family. My wife is pregnant, so I don’t want anything to happen to her. And I don’t want nothing to happen to my kids.’’
It was reported that 11 umpires opted out of the 2020 season.
This and that
Manager Rick Renteria is expected back Wednesday after missing five days to attend a family funeral. Renteria’s duties had been filled by bench coach Joe McEwing, who flew to Philadelphia for a family medical matter, leaving Capra in charge.
The scrimmage Wednesday was changed from a scheduled night event to 1:10 p.m. because of expected rain.
Getz said 2017 first-round draft pick Jake Burger, whose career has been stymied by two Achilles tendon injuries, is going to play in a league in Missouri. The league has a mix of ‘‘pro and college players,’’ Getz said.
Second baseman Nick Madrigal misses the ball as Luis Robert steals second with an awkward slide during an intrasquad game Tuesday at Guaranteed Rate Field.