CLEVELAND — As the first half winds down, Jose Abreu took stock in what has been an outstanding start to his major league career.
The White Sox first baseman is proud of the long list of feats he has achieved in the team’s first 96 games. An All-Star who is headed to Minneapolis after Sunday’s game, Abreu leads the major leagues with 29 home runs and has helped rejuvenate the White Sox lineup. Abreu said he’s pleased but not satisfied enough to slow down a work ethic that has made him a team leader.
“I am very proud of what I have accomplished this first half,” Abreu said through a translator. “I have to thank God for allowing me to do that. I have to continue to work and do even more good things ahead of the season. So I'm looking forward to the second half.”
Though he’s headed to Minneapolis for what promises to be a whirlwind of activity, Abreu is looking forward to a few days off to rest. Though the Cuban professional season lasts 90 games, Abreu has shown no signs of slowing down as the White Sox approach their 100th game. Still, Abreu can’t wait for a few days off both mentally and physically.
As for the All-Star Game, Abreu looks forward to the event and meeting everyone. Abreu singled out Derek Jeter as a player he’d like to visit, but admits “I want to meet them all.”
Ventura not concerned about Ramirez
Alexei Ramirez is almost certain to miss his first full game of the season Sunday. A first-time All-Star, Ramirez left Saturday’s game with a sore lower back. Ramirez has appeared in all 95 White Sox games this season.
Though he’s highly unlikely to play Sunday, White Sox manager Robin Ventura isn’t worried about long-term effects but wants to be cautious.
“If I tried to play him today, it could be (long term),” Ventura said. “There’s the All-Star Game and if he’s not feeling better, then something would obviously there. We would have six days to deal with it. I’m just cautious about today more than anything.”
— Abreu’s homer on Saturday was his 50th extra-base hit in his 81st game. Abreu is the fastest player to 50 extra-base hits since Ted Williams did in 80 games in 1939, per the Elias Sports Bureau.
— To make room for Andre Rienzo, the White Sox released pitcher Henry Rodriguez at Triple-A Charlotte. Rienzo was sent to Charlotte on Sunday so the White Sox could promote Carlos Sanchez.
— With Sanchez on the way to Cleveland, Micah Johnson in Minneapolis for the All-Star Futures Game and Tyler Saladino unable to play anything but designated hitter, prospect Matt Davidson played shortstop at Charlotte on Saturday. Normally a third baseman, Davidson went 2-for-5 at the plate and had two putouts and three assists, including turning a double play with Marcus Semien. But Ventura joked that shortstop is definitely not in Davidson’s future.