White Sox

White Sox Eaton on Cabrera's hot streak: Don't touch that guy, he will burn you

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White Sox Eaton on Cabrera's hot streak: Don't touch that guy, he will burn you

BOSTON -- He’s been good for nearly two months but Melky Cabrera is on another level right now.

The White Sox left field has a .475/.476/.875 slash line with eight doubles, a triple, two home runs and 13 RBIs in the past nine games. Cabrera, who is 19-for-40 in the stretch, is the first White Sox hitter since Magglio Ordonez in 2003 to have seven consecutive multi-hit games. He is the only player in franchise history to have seven straight multi-hit games and drive in a run in each.

While Jose Abreu gets the attention, Cabrera recently has been the driving force behind an offense that has outscored its opponents 54-19 during a seven-game winning streak.

[MORE: Sox in position to potentially buy at trade deadline]

“Don’t touch that guy, he will burn you,” White Sox leadoff man Adam Eaton said. “He’s extremely hot right now. We talk about approach and coming to the ballpark ready to play every day, he’s done that. His tenacity in how he goes about his business, it pays off. He’s a true professional at the plate and goes up with a great approach and all of a sudden it starts going his way. Shows how good of a hitter he is.”

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

Off to a slow start, Cabrera has been on fire since June 8 and continued it with three more hits in six at-bats and an RBI on Wednesday. He entered Wednesday’s victory with a .354/.392/.573 and 24 extra-base hits in his last 181 plate appearances. Cabrera credited manager Robin Ventura’s steady approach for allowing the White Sox to rebound from an awful start.

But Ventura insists that all credit goes to Cabrera, who is in the first season of a three-year, $42-million deal.

“He’s hitting everything hard,” Ventura said. “Anything in the zone he’s taking pretty good hacks at and he’s always in the middle of everything we’re doing and hitting stuff hard.”

White Sox Talk Podcast: Rebuild advice from 3 Houston Astros All-Stars

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Rebuild advice from 3 Houston Astros All-Stars

With the White Sox in the middle of a rebuild, Chuck Garfien spoke with 3 Houston Astros All-Stars who explained how they went from a rebuilding team to World Series champions. Jose Altuve, George Springer and Alex Bregman talk about how they dealt with losing, how they learned how to win, the importance of adding veterans to the young core, and how they kept hope alive during the rebuild.  Then later, Chuck spoke with Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Lorenzo Cain trying to understand how he dominated the White Sox for so many years.

Jose Abreu didn't come to White Sox looking for leadership role, but he's the face of the franchise on the All-Star stage

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USA TODAY

Jose Abreu didn't come to White Sox looking for leadership role, but he's the face of the franchise on the All-Star stage

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Jose Abreu didn’t come to the White Sox to be a leader. But that’s what he is as he took his spot among the best in baseball at Tuesday night’s All-Star Game.

Abreu is the face of the South Side baseball club and he’s had a stellar-enough first four and a half seasons in Major League Baseball to earn the distinction of a starter in the Midsummer Classic. But Abreu, unsurprisingly, doesn’t look at himself as one of the best in the game. He looks as himself as a hard-worker.

“I don’t believe that I’m the best,” Abreu said through a team translator on Monday. “I’m just a person who likes to work hard every day and try to do my best.”

That humility is nothing new to folks who follow the White Sox on a regular basis. And neither is talk of Abreu’s work ethic, the admiration of everyone involved with the team and a constant talking point from Rick Hahn, Rick Renteria and all Abreu’s teammates.

Abreu has become as important for his off-the-field roles as he has for his on-the-field production for this rebuilding White Sox team. He’s been described as a role model for all the young players in the organization, whether they’re on the big league roster right now or coming up through the system.

“None of them have told me that yet,” Abreu joked. “But I know that. It’s definitely a compliment, and I take it as something that makes you feel good, something that makes you keep moving forward and to keep trying to help the guys to improve and get better as a team. You feel like that is a big honor, that people think that way of you.”

As good as he feels to be held in such esteem, Abreu didn’t set out to be one of this team’s leaders when he came to the United States. And to be honest, he might not be in his current position if it weren’t for the team’s rebuilding effort. Abreu is one of the few veterans on this team.

“That was something that happened. I didn’t look for it,” Abreu said. “I was always trying to help people and trying to give advice to help people to improve. But I never tried to be a leader. If people say that because of what I do, that’s good, but that’s not something that I’m trying to force or something that I say, ‘I want to be a leader.’ No, that’s not who I am. I am just the kind of person who likes to help people, who likes to give advice.”

Abreu is seemingly the definition of what the White Sox want their next winning roster to be full of. And whether it’s the special relationship he has with fellow Cuban Yoan Moncada or the role-model status he holds in the eyes of his other teammates, both current and future, he’s helping the White Sox develop those kinds of players.

Oh, and he’s generally — though this season has seen an extended slump and atypical numbers — one of the most consistently productive hitters in the game.

Who wouldn’t want all that as the face of the franchise?

“It’s all a blessing. I can’t ask for anything else,” Abreu said. “I’m a true believer that if you work hard, good things are going to happen. That’s why I work hard every day, I try to do my best, I try to improve every day and just to be a better person. Not just a better player, but a better person.”