White Sox reinstate Luis Robert Jr., place Tommy Pham on IL

Tommy Pham is fired up over play at the plate with William Contreras (0:53)

Tommy Pham doesn't hold back when asked about the heated exchange that followed his play at the plate with William Contreras. (0:53)

CHICAGO -- The struggling Chicago White Sox reinstated Luis Robert Jr. from the injured list, and the All-Star center fielder was in the starting lineup Tuesday against the crosstown Cubs.

Robert, who hit 38 homers and drove in 80 runs in a breakout season in 2023, had been out since April 6 with a right hip flexor strain suffered at Kansas City a day earlier. The speedy 26-year-old batted .214 with two homers and four RBI in seven games this season before getting hurt.

Robert completed a five-game rehab stint at Triple-A Charlotte and rejoins a desperate White Sox team that is an MLB-worst 15-45 and mired in an 11-game losing streak. He was batting third in the opener of a two-game series on Chicago's North Side.

"It's definitely a big deal for this club, but it's also a big deal for him," White Sox manager Pedro Grifol said. "He suffered a significant injury after working really, really hard in the offseason and had a really good spring."

Grifol plans on using Robert cautiously.

"Robert is here to play, obviously, but he's not going to be playing every single day," Grifol said. "He's going to take some breaks. He's going to DH some. He's going to have to have his day off as well."

Robert, a native of Cuba in his sixth major league season, says he ready.

"I'm gaining the confidence again," Robert said through a translator. "It's step by step. I think playing every day, it's going to be better for me, that confidence back. I don't think it's going to be a major issue now."

The injury-plagued White Sox also placed outfielders Tommy Pham (left ankle sprain) and Dominic Fletcher on (left shoulder strain) on the 10-day injured list retroactive to June 3.

Chicago recalled outfielder Zach DeLoach from Charlotte and selected the contract of speedy outfielder Duke Ellis from Double-A Birmingham. He ranks second in the minors with 34 stolen bases in 35 attempts.

The White Sox also designated infielder Zach Remillard for assignment.

The 36-year-old Pham was injured sliding into home plate in the eighth inning on Sunday at Milwaukee. He is batting .280 with three homers, 12 RBI and 19 runs scored in 33 games this season since his contract was selected from Charlotte on April 26.

The 26-yeaer-old Fletcher was also hurt Sunday while making an home-run saving catch in the seventh inning. He is batting .173 with six RBI in 28 games.