The Chicago White Sox are way past the point of being able to afford any more injuries.
So the sight of the reigning American League MVP writhing around in pain after being drilled with a pitch was not what anyone wanted to see.
José Abreu, who has gone through more than his fair share of bumps and bruises this season, was hit in the knee by a pitch from Seattle Mariners relief pitcher JT Chargois during the sixth inning of Sunday's game, immediately falling to the ground, rolling around in obvious pain and slamming his batting helmet in frustration.
The White Sox team leader was helped off the field after a long visit from the trainer.
Not long after his departure, the White Sox updated that Abreu left the game with a bruised left knee, reporting that X-rays were negative for a fracture. He was classified as day-to-day.
Abreu has been through a lot of physical challenges this year. He slammed into Kansas City Royals base runner Hunter Dozier while attempting to catch a pop up along the first-base line, leaving the game after the scary collision. Though he returned the next night, he followed the day after that by injuring his ankle when scoring the game-winning run on a wild pitch, knocking him out for a few games. Earlier this month, he was hit when the home-plate umpire threw a bat to clear it out of the way of a play at the plate, as fluky a play as you'll see.
Friday night, White Sox manager Tony La Russa speculated that Abreu, in the middle of a slump, might be playing through some more typical baseball-related soreness, trying to stay in the lineup with the team suffering so many injury-induced absences. Saturday, La Russa said Abreu assured the skipper that he was not "being overly heroic" and was good to continue playing.
The White Sox have seen significant injuries to Eloy Jiménez (ruptured pectoral tendon), Luis Robert (torn hip flexor) and Nick Madrigal (torn hamstring) and additional injuries to other players that have blown huge holes in their projected everyday lineup. Despite those injuries, the White Sox remain in first place in the AL Central standings. But a lineup increasingly reliant on bench players has scuffled of late and appears increasingly in need of a boost with the trade deadline approaching.