GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Jose Abreu could play this weekend but the White Sox want to give his sore ankles two days off.
Despite them being wrapped in heavy tape and showing a visible limp at times, Abreu has played for nearly two weeks in varying degrees of pain. Abreu would prefer to stay in the lineup but he won’t get the chance even though the White Sox say he’s not a candidate for the disabled list.
The club is pleased with how hard Abreu has prepared so far and they want to make sure he’s healthy when they open the season on March 31. So Abreu, who left Friday’s game early after a single in his second at-bat, isn’t scheduled to play again until Monday.
“Nothing that concerns him going on the DL or anything like that, but to kind of flush it out and get him feeling a little better before we head out of here,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “It flared up and we are going to give him a couple of days to just feel better and get over it. He’s pretty close to being ready anyway. You don’t want him starting the season feeling sore at any point.”
Abreu has been preparing for the season at a hectic pace since December.
That’s when strength coach Allen Thomas spent two weeks with him in Miami devising a workout and nutritional program. From there Abreu joined the club in Arizona for a mini-camp in January and then he returned to Arizona on Feb. 3 to report for spring training.
Abreu told MLB.com earlier this week he believes his strenuous workouts may have played a part in the soreness. He also said he used to tape his ankles when he played in Cuba isn’t worried its an issue.
“It was one of those things that happens when you train,” Abreu told MLB.com. “I had some treatment and it's all better now. It's not a problem. I'm fine.”
Abreu is hitting .317 with two home runs and nine RBIs this spring.
The White Sox have been impressed by Abreu’s work ethic since he arrived. Whether it’s the way he heads to the batting cage early or his plan of attack against pitchers, Abreu has been seen as a positive influence.
But general manager Rick Hahn also suggested early in camp the club might have to ask Abreu to dial back his efforts some. Ventura said that is part of this process.
“He does go hard,” Ventura said. “That’s part of being down here and taking it out of his hands and giving him two days. We are comfortable that he doesn’t necessarily want to sit out for two days, but we feel it’s important for him to start the season feeling better.”