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White Sox prospect Luis Robert to miss six weeks with thumb sprain

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White Sox top prospect Luis Robert has been diagnosed with a Grade 2 sprain in his left thumb, the team announced Saturday. The outfielder sustained the injury on Wednesday after sliding into second base during a Cactus League game against the Reds, and is now scheduled to miss anywhere from 6-10 weeks as he works his way back to the field.

Robert, 20, was enjoying his first spring training with the club prior to the incident. He went 3-for-10 in camp with a stolen base and a grand slam, the latter of which he accomplished after suffering the sprain. Entering 2018, Robert ranked no. 3 in the White Sox’ system and no. 28 overall, and was expected to begin his first year in the organization with a stint in Single-A Kannapolis or High-A Winston-Salem. Now, according to manager Rick Renteria, it looks as though the outfielder won’t see any game action until early May, though the team will keep a close eye on him during the recovery process in case his thumb heals more quickly than expected.

This has been an unlucky spring for highly-touted White Sox prospects. No. 1 prospect Eloy Jimenez has struggled with tendinitis in his left knee, while right-hander Alec Hansen (no. 4) was temporarily shut down with soreness in his forearm and Jake Burger (no. 8) lost his season to a torn left Achilles last month. Of the four, Jimenez is the closest to staging a return, and is tentatively slated to make an appearance during the White Sox’ matchup with the Diamondbacks on Sunday afternoon.

Bryce Harper will participate in the Home Run Derby if he makes the All-Star team

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Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.

Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.

Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.