Top prospect Luis Robert won’t be called up by the White Sox

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Chicago White Sox outfield prospect Luis Robert batted .328/.376/.624 with 32 home runs and 36 steals over 122 games in the minors this season. And no, he was not merely some product of the juiced ball in Triple-A as he raked at not just one but three levels this year, playing 47 games at Triple-A and 75 combined between High-A and Double-A.

Yet, even with expanded September rosters, Robert is not going to get a cup-of-coffee in the bigs this year. Why? White Sox general manager Rick Hahn says it’s because Robert played a career-high number of games, had a short offseason due to participating in the Arizona Fall League, and because he jumped two levels.

One always wonders, of course, whether service time manipulation was part of the equation when such a high-profile prospect is involved. What says Hahn?

That’s about as believable as Michael telling Connie and Kay that he had nothing to do with Carlo’s killing, but Hahn’s the boss so it’s not like anyone can do anything about it.

Hahn now has the whole offseason to explain why Robert won’t start the 2020 season with Chicago. It can’t be the old chestnut about defense, because Robert is an outstanding center fielder. I’m gonna go with either (a) “his offseason was too long this year, what with not playing in September, so we’re worried about rust”; or (b) “well, he didn’t have any time in the bigs at the end of last year so we don’t wanna just start him out there to begin the season.”

After which Hahn will start the engine of his IronyMobile and drive away.

Padres clinch NL wild-card spot during 2-1 loss to White Sox

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SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Padres are going back to the playoffs for the first time in a full season since 2006, a spot that they clinched during the seventh inning of a 2-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.

The Padres were batting when the Miami Marlins beat the Milwaukee Brewers in 12 innings. The sellout crowd of 41,407 at Petco Park stood and cheered the sealed wild-card spot.

The Padres trailed 2-0 at the time but Kim Ha-seong homered a few minutes later.

The Padres had a chance to win in the ninth when they put two runners on with two outs against Liam Hendriks but pinch-hitter Jorge Alfaro, who has five walk-off plate appearances this year, grounded out.

Fireworks went off and the Padres players were given hats and shirts, but there was no wild on-field celebration. Manager Bob Melvin was drenched with a cooler of water and the players gathered near the mound for photos. They were cheered by what was left of the crowd as they headed to the clubhouse.

San Diego is one game ahead of Philadelphia for the second of three NL wild cards.

The Padres won a wild-card series against St. Louis after the pandemic-shortened 2020 season before being swept in the division series by the eventual World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

Before that, they hadn’t been to the playoffs since winning the NL West in 2005 and 2006.

It’s the seventh playoff berth in franchise history and the fourth since Petco Park opened in 2004. The Padres haven’t been to the World Series since 1998, when they were swept by the New York Yankees.

The Padres reached the playoffs this year without electrifying shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., who was on the cusp of returning from a broken left wrist when he was suspended for 80 games by MLB on Aug. 12 for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

Slugger Manny Machado has carried the Padres most of the season offensively and they added Juan Soto from Washington in a blockbuster deal on Aug. 2.

The Padres hired the veteran Melvin after last year’s brutal September collapse cost Jayce Tingler his job.

Lance Lynn (8-7) and Blake Snell 8-10) were locked in a scoreless duel Sunday when Elvis Andrus homered off the San Diego lefty with one out in the sixth, his 16th. His shot reached the top balcony of the brick warehouse in the left field corner at Petco Park.

The White Sox went ahead 2-0 on Adam Engel‘s two-out single in the seventh that brought in Andrew Vaughn, who had drawn a leadoff walk.

San Diego got on the scoreboard when Kim homered to left off Lynn with two outs in the seventh, his 11th.

Lynn allowed one run and five hits in seven innings, struck out five and walked one.

Snell allowed one run and three hits in six innings, struck out six and walked one.


White Sox: RHP Bailey Ober (2-3, 3.18 ERA) is scheduled to start Monday at home against the Minnesota Twins, who will counter with Johnny Cueto (7-10, 3.39).

Padres: RHP Joe Musgrove (10-7, 3.03) gets the start Monday night at home against the San Francisco Giants, who will go with Carlos Rodon (14-8, 2.88).