White Sox

White Sox: Jose Abreu's resurgence


White Sox: Jose Abreu's resurgence

Lost in the shuffle among Tim Anderson’s potential Player of the Month campaign was the recent surge by José Abreu, who by the way is the last White Sox player to win the AL Player of the Month award (he won in April & July 2014). After homering in two of the first three games this season, he fell into a deep funk where he hit .138 over the next 15 games. But something seemed to click on April 19th at Detroit when he collected two hits and he hasn’t gone hitless since. Abreu has a hit in eight straight games; multiple hits in each of the last four.

Abreu this season

                                                                                PA          Hits        2B           HR          RBI        

First 18                  .174/.266/.348                   79           12           3              3              10                          

Last 8                     .486/.526/.800                   38           17           5              2              14          


What changed? One thing that stands out is his ability to hit the fastball, and velocity in general.

Abreu this season

                                                AB ending in fastball                      AB ending on pitches 90+ MPH                 AB ending on pitches 95+ MPH                                            

First 18                                                    5-32 (.156)                                        4-26 (.154)                                          0-3 (.000)

Last 8                                                     10-22 (.455)                                        10-23 (.435)                                        3-5 (.600)


This doesn’t mean that he hasn’t been hitting the non-fastballs, because he has been hitting those hard all season long, even if many of them have been outs.

Entering today, Abreu is tied for the MLB lead in hard-hit balls on non-fastballs.

Most hard-hit balls (95+ MPH exit velocity) this season on non-fastballs

22           José Abreu

22           Trevor Story

20           Starlin Castro

19           C.J. Cron

19           Javier Báez

19           Ketel Marte

19           Pete Alonso

And he has been among the league leaders in hard-hit balls in general this season

Most hard-hit balls (95+ MPH exit velocity) this season

51           Cody Bellinger

49           Andrelton Simmons

48           Tommy Pham

46           George Springer

45           José Abreu

45           Trevor Story

45           Christian Yelich


All of a sudden, his season slashline has gone from that .174/.266/.348 in the first 18 games to the .279/.350/.500 it is now, which is right in line with his career .295/.353/.516 line he had heading into this season. He’s having his best April since 2015.


José Abreu in March/April

                G             HR          RBI         BB              BA/OBP/SLG

2014       29           10           32           9              .270/.336/.617

2015       19           5              15           4              .293/.346/.587

2016       25           3              13           8              .229/.303/.354

2017       22           2              11           6              .280/.344/.439

2018       25           6              12           6              .263/.342/.485

2019       26           5              24           11           .279/.350/.500

He has the highest Pre-May OBP (.350) and walk total (11) of his career. And with Moncada & Anderson producing around him, this should make for a very interesting summer on the South Side. Even if Abreu doesn’t maintain his .486 pace through the rest of the season.

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SprtsTalk Live Podcast: Is MLB about to strike out forever?


SprtsTalk Live Podcast: Is MLB about to strike out forever?

David Haugh, Chuck Garfien and JJ Stankevitz join Kap on a Friday edition of STL. 

The MLB owners and players appear to be farther apart then ever with the union saying they will not take a further pay cut. Is the sport about to strike out forever?

Meanwhile, the Bulls season is over. Will a nine-month lay-off help or hurt them? Plus, the Bears may not get together as a team until training camp. Will that hurt them at all?

Finally, Jean Lenti Ponsetto will retire as DePaul athletic director this summer. Can a new AD get the men’s basketball team back to national prominence?

0:00 - There’s still no baseball and the two sides don’t even appear to be in the same ballpark. Are the owners and players heading for a mutually assured destruction? Does one side need to give in first for the good of the game?

11:00 - The NBA is returning but the Bulls won’t take part. Is it better for them to have a 9-month lay-off?

15:00 - The Bears and other NFL teams may not get to work out together until training camp. Does the hurt the Bears?

19:00 - Jean Lenti Ponsetto will retire as DePaul AD this summer. Can a new AD bring the Blue Demons men’s basketball team back to national prominence?


Listen here or below.

Sports Talk Live Podcast


Report: 2020 MLB season will happen, how many baseball games is unclear

Report: 2020 MLB season will happen, how many baseball games is unclear

Fans looking for good news during the financial fight between baseball’s owners and players are getting it from SNY’s Andy Martino. He says there will be a baseball season in 2020.

No, there’s no imminent agreement between the two warring sides. But the worst-case scenario, no season at all, seems as if it will be avoided, per Martino, who reported Friday that players will play even if Major League Baseball sidesteps further negotiations and imposes a season of perhaps fewer than 50 games.

The league’s ability to do that was reported on earlier in the week, included as part of the March agreement between the two parties. The parsing of that agreement is at the center of these contentious money talks. The players agreed to prorated salaries based on the number of games played, but the owners believe they’re able to ask for further pay cuts now that they’ve deemed it economically impossible to play even half a season without fans in the stands and pay players half their salaries. Players, distrustful of that claim, say the owners should prove it by opening their books.

The players are standing firm in not accepting further pay cuts, with union chief Tony Clark saying Thursday any proposal of further cuts would be rejected. While there was some confusion over whether the owners would stop making proposals altogether, Martino reported that the league could make another financial offer to the union.

Here’s another wrinkle: The governor of Texas recently said that fans would be allowed to attend sporting events in that state. Thursday brought a report that Major League Baseball is likely to allow the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros to have fans in the stands, signaling that governors in the 17 different states where major league teams play would have the final say on whether they could sell tickets. That could mean more revenue, a significant variable thrown into this whole thing.

RELATED: Return-to-play negotiations: How Rob Manfred and Adam Silver's roles differ

So how many games are going to be played? That remains a question without an answer.

If the players refuse further pay cuts, as they’ve said they will, then perhaps a roughly 50-game season would be in the cards. If there are concessions as negotiations continue, that number could grow. Martino outlined that if the owners agree to pay those full prorated salaries for more than 50 games, perhaps we’ll see expanded playoffs, which was part of the players’ last proposal the league rejected. Perhaps we’d see players mic’d up during games. Perhaps we’d see the union stop demanding full financial transparency from ownership.

But no budging from either side and the league’s 50-game plan seems more realistic, despite the frustration it could spark among fans. While a 50-game schedule would mean a lot more off days, creating health benefits for players related to both typical baseball maladies and the coronavirus, it could be argued it would be an illegitimate way to crown a champion. However, there’s an argument to be made that a 50-game sprint would be a fascinating contrast to baseball’s typical 162-game marathon, often criticized for its at times glacial pace.

If the two sides can come to an agreement, perhaps that wished-for July 4 Opening Day would still be possible, though teams would have to hustle to start a second round of spring training, which was originally pitched to begin next week. If they can’t, then the league’s mandated 50-game season might start closer to the end of July, with the postseason played as usual, during the month of October.

But with the league adamant about the playoffs wrapping up no later than early November, fearing an increase in COVID-19 infections come fall, time is of the essence. And that’s what makes Martino say that next week is when we’ll find out how much baseball will be played in 2020.

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