Jose Abreu ranks third in the American League with 22 home runs, and he'll likely be selected for the All-Star Game. So, it stands to reason he's a prime candidate to participate in this year's Home Run Derby.
Abreu, however, says he's not interested.
"Home Run Derby is not something I’m too crazy about," Abreu told the Sun-Times on Tuesday through a translator. "It’s a good thing, but I’m
not really interested or looking forward to. I really wouldn’t want to
do it. I did it in Cuba several times, and I wasn’t much into it.’’
That probably won't make a lot of fans happy. Most would want to see Abreu's prodigious power on display in the home run contest, but the slugger is worried participating in the event would screw up his approach.
"The first thing it does is affect you mentally," he said. "You go
out and try to hit home runs. I'm not a guy who tries to hit home runs. I
let them come whenever they come. And sometimes it messes with your
I don't blame Abreu for not wanting to do something he isn't comfortable with, especially since this is his first season in the United States and he's still working to establish himself as a big-league hitter.
We could debate whether participating in the Home Run Derby screws up a hitter's swing, but what's the point? I can find examples of guys who declined in the second half after the derby, and I can find examples of guys who were unaffected.
Abreu knows himself better than any fan or anyone in the media, so if he says he's better off not competing in the derby, then he's right to sit this one out.
Sox make rotation change, stick with Belisario as closer
The Sox made one change in roles with their pitching staff on Tuesday, but it wasn't the one people might have expected.
Scott Carroll will replace Andre Rienzo in the starting rotation and pitch Thursday against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Rienzo (4-5) has lost his last five starts and has allowed 22 runs in 22.1 innings over that span.
Carroll (2-3) made five starts earlier this season, going 1-3 with a 6.15 ERA. Since moving to the bullpen, he has thrived in a long relief role, posting a 1.83 ERA over six appearances.
More than likely, this move won't make much of an impact. Neither Carroll nor Rienzo is a long-term solution as a starting pitcher. But, Carroll has started throwing a cutter during his time in the bullpen. He now has one more pitch in his arsenal than he did during his previous stint in the rotation. We'll see if that makes any difference in results.
Meanwhile, the team stuck with Ronald Belisario as its closer, and he earned a shaky save in the Sox' 4-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night. The tying runs were on base before Belisario induced a double-play grounder that allowed Chicago to snap its five-game losing streak.