HOUSTON -- Even though Robin Ventura said it looks like Jose Abreu has “an air hose in his thumb,” the first baseman’s X-ray results are about as good as the White Sox could hope.
Abreu’s status for Sunday is unclear and he was doubtful on Saturday afternoon but the White Sox believe the slugger is day-to-day with a swollen right thumb. It’s the best-case scenario for the White Sox and Abreu, who exited Friday night’s game after 8 1/ 2 innings because he could no longer throw the ball.
“You’ll see how he feels,” Ventura said. “(Saturday) it doesn’t look like he’ll do much. He’s not going to go hit on the field or anything. Just day-to-day and see how he feels. But now that we’ve had the X-rays you’ll go from there. If there’s something more to be done it’ll kind of surface and you go from there.”
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Ventura said Abreu only identified the issue with his right index finger once before when he had to temporarily delay an at-bat after he felt a pinch. Abreu said Friday he originally suffered the injury during an indoor batting practice session at home two weeks ago. But it was clear to both Ventura and Abreu he couldn’t continue on Friday. Abreu attributed his throwing error in the sixth inning Friday to a lack of feel for the baseball.
“When he hit one off the end and he felt it swell up and it just got to a point where he couldn’t throw,” Ventura said. “We had to get him out of the game.”
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The White Sox have a steady defensive replacement for Abreu in Gold Glover Adam LaRoche. LaRoche took over in the 11th inning of Friday’s game for Abreu. The veteran hopes Abreu gets back soon, not only for his impact on the lineup, but also in the field.
“He’s good (defensively) and I didn’t realize that coming in,” LaRoche said. “I hadn’t seen him play. He’s got pretty soft hands over there. I don’t know where he played coming up. He’s a lot better than I thought, especially for someone his size. He’s made some really good plays.”