CHICAGO – Barring a miracle, the streak is over.
Over his first four major league seasons, Jose Abreu joined Joe DiMaggio and Albert Pujols as the only players in history to have 25 or more home runs and 100 or more RBIs in each of their first four seasons.
Abreu was well within reach of hitting 25/100 for the fifth straight season, but he’s been out since Aug. 21.
Before Tuesday, the only information was Abreu had outpatient surgery on his lower abdomen/groin region Aug. 21. That was updated by the White Sox's first baseman himself.
“It was one of my testicles turned sideways, and it was strangled,” Abreu said through Sox interpreter Billy Russo. “The doctor had to perform emergency surgery to save it. I never thought about it, but it was serious. The doctors, they did a very good job, and everything is good. They saved the testicle. I’m really glad and thankful for all the people who helped me and who were there for me. I feel very grateful right now.”
Two weeks after having surgery, Abreu is hoping to return sooner than might be reasonably expected.
“Today is my second day of light activity,” he said. “I started doing a little bit of cardio [Monday], and I did cardio today again. It’s going to be a day-by-day thing and probably by the end of the week I think I will be able to play. But it all depends on how I’m feeling every day.”
Manager Rick Renteria isn’t going to write Abreu’s name in the lineup until he’s fully recovered from the scary injury.
“He probably wanted to play today,” Renteria said. “He’s moving OK. I would be a little leery. Any competitor is going to want to put himself out there to do what he’s got to do. It is my job to make sure that once he does get out on the field he is completely healed and capable of doing what is necessary for him to help us win a ballgame.”
With 22 home runs and 78 RBIs as the season winds down, Abreu is running out of time to reach 25/100 again – especially on the RBI end.
“Those are the things that you can’t control,” Abreu said. “I would like to be able to reach those numbers, to keep posting those numbers, but unfortunately I probably won’t be able to do it. I’m just glad and thankful with God because I’m healthy, and that’s what’s important, the most important.”
Abreu rejoined the Sox on Monday after having to follow along on TV after surgery.
“I watched every single game,” said Abreu, the Sox’s lone All-Star this season. “I’ve been rooting for the team; I’m excited about the way the team is playing. The guys are doing a good job. That’s why I’m anxious to get back as soon as possible and help the team, to help the young guys and finish the season as strong as possible.”