By Bruce Levine-
(CBS) Will he stay or will he go ? That is the question that White Sox slugger Jose Abreu must answer about his role in the 2014 Home Run Derby. And Angeles superstar outfielder Mike Trout is in the same boat as Abreu.
At first, Abreu said he was going to take a pass on the event. Since then, pressure has mounted on him to be a part of the new team concept that the popular event has turned to. During last weekend in Toronto, Abreu was approached by American League Home Run Derby captain Jose Batista to join the squad in Minneapolis on July 14.
“Right now it is simple,” Abreu said. “I am just not thinking about it. We have 15 days until the All-Star Game, so that is not a priority now. I am thinking about how I can help my team get in a better position to win as a team. That is what is important right now.”
Along with Chicago teammates Alexei Ramirez and Chris Sale, Abreu should be a popular choice to make the All-Star team. Both Abreu and Ramierz are in second place in the voting at their positions, and Sale is 7-1 with a 2.30 ERA and a even more impressive WHIP of 0.89.
Trout has some of the same concerns about putting his exhibition schedule ahead of his daily routine to help the Angels stay in the race. The chance of messing up what has been a solid line drive swing is also a concern
“I have heard things both ways on the home run swings,” Trout said. “I have been told how much fun it is but told the day after you are kind of sore from all of those swings. The whole thing is for the fans, so you want to win it. I don’t know where I stand on it right now. I have not been asked yet, but it is something I at least look forward to watching for sure.”
Trout and Abreu are midseason AL MVP candidates, along with Oakand’s Josh Donaldson and Toronto’s Edward Encarnacion.
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.