Jose Abreu had another good workout on Wednesday afternoon and the White Sox are devising the rest of his rehab, one that may not include a trip to the minors.
Manager Robin Ventura said as of now the team may not send their first baseman to the minor leagues for game action and hopes to still activate him when he’s eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list on Monday.
Abreu leads the White Sox with 15 home runs and 42 RBIs. He has been on the DL since May 18 with a sore left ankle.
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“You’re trying to see if you can get him the work here so he wouldn’t have to go out,” Ventura said. “As of right now, there’s not a plan for him to go out. He would stay here. I think (trainer Herm Schneider) wants him here just to watch him, and we’ll figure out if we can get somebody here to simulate something to make him do it here instead of having to go play in a game.
Abreu took ground balls and then batting practice on the field. His defensive session included more lateral movements than earlier in the week. The White Sox have said they’re optimistic about Abreu and Ventura is pleased with his progress.
“It’s been good,” Ventura said. “He still says it’s feeling better every time he goes out there. He’s tried a couple of different braces to try to alleviate what was there and to make it feel better and have more stability and things like that. It’s a work in progress of trying to find the right mix right now.”
The White Sox are still maintaining a casual attitude about when Abreu might come off the DL, a lesson they learned after Chris Sale’s recovery took longer than expected. They knew the ankle injury was serious enough that Abreu needed to be sidelined longer than for a few days. But the White Sox seem upbeat about the possibility Abreu could come off the DL in time for a matchup against fellow Cuban superstar Yasiel Puig.
The White Sox have scored 38 runs in 10 games without Abreu but still own a 6-4 record.
“Yeah, you just go by right now and how he’s feeling and where it sits on the day he can come off,” Ventura said. “If something happens, then you can push that back, but for right now, that’s the schedule.”
-- Adam Dunn has received all the playing time at first base in Abreu’s absence because Paul Konerko is dealing with a sore back, Ventura said. Thirteen of Dunn’s last 14 appearances have come at first base with only a lone May 18 start at designated hitter. Konerko went on the DL last July with a sore back, only the third DL stint of his career.
“Sometimes that happens where he gets locked up,” Ventura said. “Right now, it has worked out better to have Dunner over there where he’s able to do it.”
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-- Marcus Semien starts at designated hitter on Wednesday instead of in the field so Ventura has options at first base. Conor Gillaspie can play both third and first base in case the White Sox need to remove Dunn. Utility man Leury Garcia could take over at third for Gillaspie, if he’s needed at first, Ventura said.
-- Ventura thinks closer Ronald Belisario will get a boost from a 12-pitch save on Tuesday night. Belisario, who blew a save on Saturday, threw strikes on 10 of 12 pitches and got his first clean inning in four since he moved into the role.
“You go through ruts like he had the last outing and you want to get him back out there as quick as you can,” Ventura said. “He had great stuff (Tuesday). Not only the physical stuff, but the mental of going out there and getting it done and getting that confidence back.”