By Bruce Levine-
(CBS) — As Jose Abreu goes through his final rehab drills the White Sox continue to scuffle for runs. Chicago has scored just three runs on nine hits while losing the first two games of their three game set against San Diego.
Since Abreu went on the DL on May 18, the Sox have managed just 38 runs in 14 games. The question of the team waiting for Abreu to cure their offensive ills was addressed by manager Robin Ventura after the 4-2 loss on Saturday.
“I hope they are not waiting around for that,” Ventura emphasized. “He is coming back but you still have to play the games. They have been good on this home stand but you get a couple of days, it just doesn’t look good.”
The gritty Sox have battled back to win games late all season, but that type of luck cannot last an entire 162 game schedule. In reality, the Sox have hit the wall over there last six games with a team batting average of just .215 with two home runs and 15 runs scored for an average of 2.5 runs-per-game.
Abreu was hit on the arm in a batting practice drill Saturday but was not injured beyond a bruise. He is still scheduled to come off of the DL on Monday to begin a series in Los Angeles against the Dodgers.
“He seems fine,” said the manager. “He took one off of the upper arm but he seems fine. He did not seem bothered by it.”
Sox players down played the loss of Abreu for being the reason of recent run production woes.
“Other guys have been swinging the bat well,” said Adam Eaton. “We will be excited to get him [Abreu] back. When you lose your three or four hitter it does impact you. We will be excited to get him back.”
Abreu was leading the majors in home runs (15) and RBI (42) when his left foot gave out in his second at bat on May 17. Ventura was asked if the mere presence of Abreu’s return will be a boost to the lineup regardless of initial results. “Yes,” he answered emphatically.
The Sox remain confident that their offense will return to form with or without their best run producer.
“Let’s not have anybody freak out,” said Eaton. “We just swept the Tribe, so we are playing good baseball. We plan on coming back tomorrow and having a good steady approach like we have had. This is just how baseball goes sometimes.”