In addition to a failure to sweep their crosstown rival for the first time in history, last night’s loss to the Chicago Cubs brought more bad news for the Chicago White Sox. After noticeable limping, first baseman Jose Abreu left the game in the bottom of the ninth inning because of an ankle issue. While it’s not clear the severity of the injury at the moment, there is no doubt that any injury to Abreu can and probably will have a detrimental effect on the White Sox.
Abreu played most of the game before being lifted for pinch hitter Marcus Semien in the bottom of the ninth. According to reports, Abreu received treatment both before and after the game for his soreness, which seems to be concentrated in his left ankle. The injury is apparently completely unrelated to the ankle problems that forced him to sit on the bench for days at a time in March, and could be a big loud problem bell ringing for the White Sox headed into the main stretch of the season.
Injuries this season are nothing new for the White Sox, who currently have six players, including ace Chris Sale and starting centerfielder Adam Eaton, benched with various ailments. Abreu’s renewed issues oddly came on the same day Conor Gillaspie returned to the lineup after his DL stint. Manager Robin Ventura downplayed the injury and made no indication that Abreu could join his teammates on the DL, instead suggesting that Abreu will DH for a bit while Adam Dunn or Paul Konerko plays first base. Abreu is in the White Sox’ lineup tonight, in the DH slot as Ventura indicated.
The blunt fact is that Abreu’s hitting is one of the truest sparks on a White Sox team that wasn’t expected to do much. His record-setting performances in April set the tone for the offense most of the time and earned him league-wide respect, in addition to both the American League Rookie of the Month and Player of the Month awards. He leads baseball in home runs with 12 and is second behind Giancarlo Stanton with 35 RBIs. His emergence as an elite rookie sits at the core of this reincarnated squad of South Siders, and losing him for any period of time would hurt, a lot.