Why the Chicago White Sox should rest Jose Abreu

Jose Abreu

Jose Abreu

During Saturday’s game versus the Houston Astros, Chicago White Sox slugger Jose Abreu was playing with a noticeable limp. By the seventh inning though, it apparently had become too much as he left the game and was replaced by Paul Konerko.

Abreu was placed on the 15 day disabled list with posterior tibial tendinitis in his left ankle. Monday’s MRI revealed no structural damage.

Said White Sox manager Robin Ventura: “It is good news. They’ve done all the tests and determined it is inflammation. We just have to make sure we get that out of there.”

Abreu, who in April, set rookie records for home runs, RBIs, extra base hits and total bases, is still leading the league in home runs, and is second in RBIs. It always hurts a team to lose a man with this kind of production, but the right course of action is to rest him.

There are a couple reasons for this thinking; the first being that it is a long season. The White Sox are just 46 games into a 162 game season. June has not even hit, which is when the weather gets hotter at U.S. Cellular Field, and the ball flies out of the park at a higher rate. Abreu has had so much success in driving the ball, even in this cruddy Chicago weather, and logic would suggest that his hitting will only continue to improve as the weather gets better and the season continues on. Additionally, I would rather Abreu take off a few extra days or a few weeks to completely rid all the injuries, as opposed to playing through the injuries. I want Abreu to be able to play his best for the long haul.

[Emotional tribute to anniversary of Boston bombings]

The other reason why I want to rest Abreu right now is that we have a perfectly capable backup in both Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn. Konerko is in his final season with the White Sox and so it would be nice for Konerko to get some more at bats.  He and Dunn can rotate playing at first so that they can both stay well rested while still getting plate appearances. Out of all the positions, first base is the position the White Sox have the most depth, and so that eases the pain of this injury a bit.

The White Sox medical staff has a pretty solid track record in dealing with injuries with their players. They have prescribed rest for Abreu and have not offered a timetable as to his return. For now, White Sox fans have to be patient with this injury. Abreu has shown he can hit the ball when healthy, so now he just needs to get healthy.

In the meantime, take some time to enjoy the brilliance of Paul Konerko. He is the only remaining player from the 2005 World Series team, and he has had a storied career. He deserves a noteworthy farewell tour.