The Chicago White Sox removed Luis Robert Jr. from their game Saturday night after he jogged to first on a ground ball that would have been an easy hit.
Leading off the bottom of the first, Robert Jr. hit a slow hopper that Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Calvin Faucher had to move several steps off the mound to grab. It appeared to be an easy hit for the speedy Robert, especially given Faucher’s throw was weak and hopped once to first base.
Yet Robert slowed halfway down the first base line and went half-speed the rest of the way, getting thrown out by several steps.
The White Sox have given up already and it’s not even May yet. pic.twitter.com/I7fPdMTBs4
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) April 29, 2023
Manager Pedro Grifol removed Robert Jr. from the game. White Sox insider Herb Lawrence reported the team benched him because “they believed he dogged it down the line.”
The #WhiteSox want it known that Luis Robert Jr. was removed because they believed he dogged it down the line. 👍🏾
— Herb Lawrence (@Ecnerwal23) April 30, 2023
Twitter immediately reacted with mixed feelings to the play. Some fans blasted Robert Jr. for the lackadaisical effort, while others cautioned that he absolutely had to be hurt to look so bad on the play.
But word that the White Sox pulled him for effort, not an injury, opened the Twitter floodgates. It was not a pretty sight.
Who ya got winning a race?
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) April 30, 2023
Luis Robert Jr. just gave your high school baseball coach an aneurysm pic.twitter.com/AjS9dyuGnb
— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) April 29, 2023
Jesus. You have to bench him after that. Wow.
— jarred kelenic extremist (@kelenicfan88) April 29, 2023
if you can’t run out a groundball you shouldn’t even be playing in the majors. simple
— Ethan (@verdugoredsox_) April 29, 2023
I’ve never understood why MLB players don’t run full out everytime. You barely move all game, run it out.
— Nealer (@Nealerrr) April 29, 2023
They’re tanking for Victor Wenbanyama, working pretty well tbh
— Brendan Riccardi (@BrendanRiccardi) April 29, 2023
And the standings say that the White Sox are one of the worst teams in baseball? Can’t be. Not with that energy!
— Dabo Swaggart (@TheBauceman) April 29, 2023
He should have been sent to AA before he made it back to the dugout
— Dynamic Voltage Games (@dynamic_voltage) April 30, 2023
The lack of hustle by Robert says so much about the White Sox. This should’ve been an easy base hit.
— Sports Guy (@smsportsguy) April 30, 2023
For the record, Robert is in the 89th percentile among MLB players in speed, according to Statcast. He didn’t show it on this play.
[Jared Carrabis; Photo credit: NBC Sports Chicago]