Jose Abreu

Three days off did not help, as White Sox not named Reynaldo Lopez had a hideous night in Oakland

Three days off did not help, as White Sox not named Reynaldo Lopez had a hideous night in Oakland

Despite three straight days without baseball, the White Sox did not come back from their long weekend looking their freshest.

It was a real ugly night in Oakland as the White Sox dropped the series opener with the A's by an 8-1 score. With a non-existent offense and a mistake-prone defense, anyone not named Reynaldo Lopez had a bad all-around evening at the Coliseum.

Lopez was good with 10 strikeouts and just two runs allowed in his six innings of work. He's got a 1.42 ERA and has been hands down the team's best starting pitcher in the early going this season. He did give up a home run and walk four batters, and he wasn't exactly efficient, throwing 106 pitches in six innings. But he limited the damage and did his job, giving his team a chance to win.

But the White Sox offense, struggling as it is, had no chance against Daniel Mengden. He came in with a 6.19 ERA and hadn't made it out of the sixth inning through his first three starts, but the White Sox made him look like a Cy Young candidate Monday, mustering just one run (a solo homer from Jose Abreu in the ninth inning of an eight-run game) on six hits over eight-plus innings.

Things fell off the rails in the bottom of the seventh, when the White Sox committed a trio of errors — including two on the same play — helping the A's to a few more runs. A soft ground ball bounced off the heel of Abreu's glove, and two batters later, Luis Avilan got the bases-loaded double-play ball he needed, only for the grounder to go right through Tim Anderson's legs at shortstop. To make matters worse, Leury Garcia whiffed while attempting to scoop up the ball in left field. Those two errors on the same play brought home two runs, and another scored when Anderson converted a much more difficult double play on the next hitter. A fourth error came in the eighth, when Adam Engel overthrew second base.

The bullpen also added to Monday night's woes, allowing four earned runs in two innings. That won't help the White Sox place in the relief-ERA standings. They entered Monday's game with a 5.35 bullpen ERA, which ranked 27th in baseball. That ERA jumped to 5.98 Monday.

Back to the bats, though. The numbers are getting pretty hard to look at. The White Sox went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position Monday, adding to woes that stretch back more than a week. In their last eight games, the White Sox are 7-for-65 with runners in scoring position and have stranded a total of 63 base runners.

They also continued an upsetting trend of not scoring runs for Lopez, who seems to have become the new Jose Quintana when it comes to pitching well and receiving little to no run support. The White Sox offense has scored a total of three runs in the three games Lopez has started this season.

The White Sox came home from their first road trip at 3-2. They've gone 1-7 since and have been outscored 40-20 in those eight games.

When They Were Prospects: Jose Abreu

When They Were Prospects: Jose Abreu

With such a strong focus on current White Sox prospects, we thought it’d be fun to take a look back at statistics and scouting reports of other South Side stars on their journey to the MLB. Our Chris Kamka dug deep into the numbers.

Before Jose Abreu became the MLB powerhouse that all South Side fans came to know and love, he was a slugging prospect playing in his native Cuba.

There were first reports of him leaving Cuba Aug. 11, 2013, and he signed with the White Sox just 79 days later on Oct. 29.

He turned heads that past March during the 2013 World Baseball Classic putting up a .360/.385/.760 line in 6 games, including 3 HR and 9 RBI’s for Cuba.

Here’s how he performed in his last four seasons playing for Cienfuegos in the Cuban National Series.

Last 4 seasons in Cuba (Cienfuegos):
                           Games                                HR
2009-10                89           .399/.555/.822   30
2010-11                66           .453/.597/.986   33
2011-12                87           .394/.542/.837   35
2012-13                77           .345/.481/.617   19
 

With these numbers, he earned the title of being Baseball America’s #29 prospect entering the 2014 season. 

“Signed to a Major League contract, Abreu has higher expectations than most on this list.  The White Sox are counting on him to make the Majors and hit in the middle of their lineup,” Baseball America quoted in their report.

Some memorable quotes about Abreu?

“He just might be the best hitter in the world.  And you’ve probably never heard of him.” - Grantland - Jonah Keri

“There are legitimate comparisons to Ryan Howard.” - Oakland A’s GM David Forst 
 

Jose Abreu and the White Sox keep cranking homers, the latest a really long game-winner

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USA TODAY

Jose Abreu and the White Sox keep cranking homers, the latest a really long game-winner

Meet the Chicago White Sox, baseball's unstoppable home-run hitting force.

"Unstoppable" is a bit hyperbolic, considering the South Siders are just 3-2 on the young season and just narrowly missed getting swept by the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night. But the White Sox hit two more homers in a 4-3 victory to raise their total to a major league leading 14 in 2018.

Jose Abreu delivered what was the White Sox most important homer of the season so far, a tie-breaking, game-winning blast in the top of the eighth that while traveling an official 430 feet appeared to be just as muscled as the 481-foot bomb Avisail Garcia hit the night before, the longest homer in baseball so far this season.

And how about this? It was just the second time in his five big league seasons that Abreu homered on a 3-0 count.

Matt Davidson added his fourth home run of the campaign earlier in the game, becoming the first White Sox player ever to hit four homers in the team's first five games of a season.

All in all, the South Siders are up to 14 long balls, which is the most through five games in franchise history.

And all of this has come on the road. Guaranteed Rate Field has a reputation as a home-run friendly ballpark, meaning that once the weather warms up — it's supposed to be frigid for Thursday's home opener — these powerful White Sox could start sending balls out of the yard at quite a rate.

No matter where they're going from here, as they head back to the South Side, they are baseball's home run kings.