CLEVELAND -- He has only played first baseman as a pro but Jose Abreu is comfortable at several positions, including third base if the White Sox need him there.
Two days after Robin Ventura said the White Sox could turn to Abreu at third in a pinch, or perhaps during interleague play, the All-Star said Tuesday he would do whatever the team asks. Abreu has always taken grounders around the infield during batting practice and loved playing shortstop when he was growing up in Cuba. If his number is called, Abreu said he’ll be ready.
“I will be comfortable when I am able to help the team in any situation they tell me,” Abreu said through an interpreter. “That’s the most important thing for me, and I’m ready for whatever the team decides to do with me.
“I’m going to try. I will be prepared when the manager decides to put me in that position.”
[NBC SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]
Asked for a scouting report on his defense, Abreu didn’t make himself out to be Brooks Robinson. He said he’s not certain how confident he’d be but would be willing to try if Ventura asks. With eight interleague road games this season there’s a chance Ventura could try Abreu at third to keep both he and first baseman Adam LaRoche in the lineup.
“A couple of times in Cuba I played some third base,” Abreu said. “I wasn’t the best, but I wasn’t the worst. I was so-so.”
It might be a long shot for the White Sox to sign free agent Manny Machado, but here on the White Sox Talk Podcast, we like dark horses. Chuck Garfien, Ryan McGuffey and Vinnie Duber discuss what it would take to bring Machado to the South Side. Plus, is he "the" guy the White Sox are targeting this offseason? Will the Rockies listen to trade offers for Nolan Arenado a year before he reaches free agency? Plus, Chuck talks about a cost-controlled, All-Star on a rebuilding team that could be an answer at third base.
Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:
Mark Buehrle. Jon Garland. Freddy García. José Contreras.
The 2005 White Sox had four consecutive complete games to finish off the 2005 ALCS — Contreras took his turn in Game 5 against the Angels 13 years ago Tuesday. How special was that run of starting pitching to finish that series? Consider the following six statements:
— No team has had more than two complete games in a single postseason, let alone a postseason series, since.
— There has been a grand total of four complete games in 188 postseason games (through Monday) since the beginning of 2016.
— Those 2005 White Sox remain the only team with four complete games in a single LCS (which went to a best-of-seven format in 1985).
— They are the only team since the 1968 Tigers (in the World Series) with at least four complete games in any postseason series.
— They are the only team since the 1956 Yankees (in the World Series) with at least four consecutive complete games in a series. (The Yankees had five in a row: Games 3 through 7.)
— They are the only team since the 1928 Yankees (in the World Series) with at least four consecutive complete-game wins in a series (Games 1 through 4).
Take a moment to look back and appreciate what Don Cooper’s troops were able to accomplish in that series. The way the game is played nowadays, we will never see it again.