White Sox first baseman breaking out of early season slump. The veteran slugger exploded for two home runs against Detroit Tigers on Saturday.
Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu missed one game due to a mild right hip flexor strain he suffered on Wednesday. The injury couldn’t have come at a worse time for Abreu. The 30-year-old slugger was starting to find his groove at the plate after struggling to start the season.
However, Abreu didn’t miss much time and returned with a bang on Saturday against the Tigers. Abreu helped the Sox to a 6-4 victory over Detroit with two home runs. The first baseman hit his first home run of the season in the third inning off Tigers starting pitcher Michael Fulmer.
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Abreu started the season with a .157 batting average. Over his last eight games, Abreu is hitting .481 with two home runs and five RBI’s to improve his season batting average to .269. Before Abreu’s injury, he had four consecutive multi-hit games. With his impressive performance on Saturday, Abreu extended his multi-hit game streak to five.
The Sox need Abreu to continue producing as he’s done over the past week. With Avisail Garcia having a strong start to the season, the Sox could use another run producer in their lineup. Abreu had a slow start to last season, but was able to rebound to hit 25 home runs with 100 RBI’s. With his recent hot streak, Abreu could be turning around his season quickly than he did in 2016.
Abreu didn’t get his batting average back above .260 until June 11 of last season. This season, Abreu will need to avoid a similar slow start in order to help the Sox offense. The Sox offense appears to have turned the corner from its slow start to the season. Entering their series with the Cleveland Indians last weekend, the Sox offense ranked 29th in MLB. After a six game winning streak, the Sox offense ranks 19th with a .239 batting average.
The Sox offense still has holes in the lineup in regards to needing a consistent left-handed hitter. However, with Abreu leaving his struggles behind, the Sox could continue improving offensively this season and provide their starting pitchers with better run support. Although the Sox aren’t expected to contend, they’ve been surprising thus far. If Abreu is able to have a solid season at the plate, the Sox could be one of the more surprising teams in MLB in 2017.