Jose Abreu reveals reason for DL stay, acknowledges he probably won't reach a fifth 25-homer, 100-RBI season


Jose Abreu turned his season around and looked destined for a fifth straight 25-homer, 100-RBI campaign. But a freak injury will probably put that achievement out of reach for a guy who’s been a model of consistency since arriving in the major leagues.

Tuesday, the White Sox first baseman informed reporters of the cause of his surgery and disabled-list stay: He’s been sidelined since late last month while recovering from a procedure to relieve testicular torsion. And because of it, he’s missed his team’s improved play of late and the time necessary to amass the numbers folks have become so accustomed to seeing him put up on an annual basis.

“It was one of my testicles turned sideways and was strangled,” he said through a team translator. “The doctor had to perform emergency surgery to save it. I never thought about it, but it was serious. The doctors they did a very good job and everything is good. They saved the testicle. I’m really glad and thankful like I said before for all the people who helped me and who were there for me. I feel very grateful right now.”

Abreu, always the hard-worker who hates to miss time for any reason, also put out there that he hopes to be back playing by the end of this week. If that ends up happening, he’ll have roughly three weeks to hit three home runs and drive in 22 runs to hit the incredible milestones he accomplished in each of his first four big league seasons.

Reaching those totals seems unlikely at this point, but Abreu is taking it in stride.

“Those are the things that you can’t control. I would like to be able to reach those numbers, to keep posting those numbers, but unfortunately I probably won’t be able to do it,” he said. “But I’m just glad and thankful with god because I’m healthy and that’s what’s important, the most important.

“In my time here now, I want to play. In the meantime, I want to contribute helping the guys to try to finish the season as strong as possible. Even when I start playing again, I just want to help them. Maybe the numbers, the stats, won’t be there, the ones that I want to get when the season started. But I will be able to help the team and help the young guys to finish the season strong.”

While it’s easy to focus on statistics, Abreu is likely more upset with the fact he hasn’t been around for the White Sox playing noticeably better baseball of late. The team has won nine of the 14 games he’s missed thanks to excellent starting pitching, a new-look bullpen and increased offensive production.

Abreu’s happy about all that, of course, and he’s lending his typical veteran support to the young players driving the team’s improved play.

“I have watched every single game,” he said. “I’ve been rooting for the team, I’m excited about the way the team is playing. The guys are doing a good job. That’s why I’m anxious to get back as and help the team, to help the young guys and finish the season as strong as possible. We are playing very good baseball right now, and I’m just excited to be on the field again.”

While Abreu failing to turn in a fifth straight 25-homer, 100-RBI season is a bummer for the player, the White Sox and fans, it’s unlikely to impact how the team feels about him. Their fondness for him has been well documented, and his midseason turnaround is more likely to impact the decision on Abreu’s future. After a prolonged slump, Abreu had a terrific month coming out of the All-Star break, slashing .330/.394/.652 with nine homers and 26 RBIs in 29 games before going on the DL.

Abreu is under team control through the 2019 season, and he’s slated to hit free agency ahead of the 2020 campaign, or just when the White Sox figure to be transitioning from rebuilding mode to contention mode. Abreu, his consistent production and his valued off-the-field presence figure to be of great value to the next White Sox team that competes for a championship, despite his advancing age.

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