(CBS) — The Chicago White Sox and slugger Jose Abreu have fallen on hard times the last couple of weeks.
Chicago has lost four straight series and have a 4-8 record to show for it. Abreu has had his own problems dealing with a slow start to August, hitting .262 (zero home runs, three RBI ).
The White Sox are surely missing leadoff man Adam Eaton at the top of the order. He was placed on the DL last Saturday with a strained oblique.That alone has impacted offensive production and Abreu’s ability to drive in runs.
“Some of the results are because Eaton is hurt,” Manager Robin Ventura says. “We tend to score more runs when he is up there and getting on base. Right now, we are missing him and somebody else has to step up.”
Chicago has scored 39 runs in August, an average of 3.2 runs per contest. Those numbers alone are indicators of a rough patch for Ventura’s club. During the last eight games and fifth without Eaton, the team has managed to score just 13 runs, or an average of less than two runs per game.
It is difficult to get down on Abreu. He has already wrapped up the Rookie of the Year award in the AL and has been in the conversation all season for MVP consideration. All of that being true, asking if his first major-league season has taken its toll is a far question.
In Cuba, the professional leagues play a 96-game schedule. The White Sox played game number 122 on Friday evening.
“Reality is that it is a long season,” Abreu says. “The reality also is that we don’t have very many games left. I am working to combat being tired. I knew that the season was longer here, many people mentioned it to me. I have been taking care of myself to take care of these things. I will continue to work until we get down to the end of the season.” ( All of Abreu’s comments were translated by a team employee)
Abreu understands he has created some unrealistic expectations with his dynamic offensive performance this year.
“Those expectations are great,” Abreu says. “I want people to have those for me. Every time you go out on the field you want to (build expectations ). It is not always going to happen, but that is what you want to shoot for all the time. To me that is not any (pressure).”
Abreu is still tied for the home run lead (31) and his 86 RBI is also tied for first in the major leagues.
“He went through a streak earlier in the season like this,” Ventura said. “Most people go through it. There are other guys at the top (of the home run chart) that have not hit any lately. Do I still think he is a good hitter? Yeah! I am sure he will come back, and I am not worried about it.”