BY TONI GINNETTI
For the Sun-Times
A day off to “just watch’’ was manager Robin Ventura’s prescription Sunday for Jose Abreu’s ailing bat, one that White Sox teammate Todd Frazier said can be good medicine.
“The manager knows him best,’’ Frazier said of the relationship between the Cuban slugger and Ventura. “He’s known him for two years. I don’t see any problem in it.
“I’ve been there [in slumps] numerous times. For me, my day off was when I was sick unfortunately. But it can be a good.
“As much as [Abreu] wants to be out there and we want him, just enjoy the beautiful day [watching]. He’ll be fine and we might need him in the 8th or 9th.’’
Abreu had gone 1-for-11 before Sunday, and with the Sox playing a doubleheader on Monday to begin a series against the Cleveland Indiana, Ventura sat the struggling slugger.
“I’m going to take it, and it’s good to have a rest for a day,’’ said Abreu, who learned of Ventura’s decision several hours before game time. “This is probably a day to regroup and to work hard.’’
Though Abreu isn’t the only player struggling, Ventura said the day off “is just to hit the reset button.
“Sometimes it’s better just to sit there and watch the game and for him, he just needs to refresh a little.
“Anytime a guy like him doesn’t hit up to his potential, doesn’t drive the ball and do things like that, you’re always amazed by that,’’ Ventura said. “When Frank [Thomas] did it, you’re amazed. When you see Albert Pujols do that, you’re amazed. You’re always amazed when it happens — but it happens to every baseball player. You just have to be able to sit back and relax somewhat and get back out there.’’
Ventura also sat Avisail Garcia and had Jimmy Rollins as the DH.
“Avi doesn’t have good numbers against [Royals starter Yordano Ventura],’’ Ventura said. Garcia is 0-for-12 against Ventura.
The Indians arrive Monday for a four-game series trailing the Sox by 2 ½ games in the AL Central.
“They’ve been playing well,’’ Ventura said of the Indians, who have won six of their last 10. “It’s another shot at them. We have a doubleheader [Monday] so you want to get off on the right foot.
“They can swing the bat and we know about their pitching. There are no easy roads in our division.’’
A pair of aces
The Sox pitching staff leads the American League in ERA, but the heavy lifters are lefties Chris Sale (1.58 ERA) and Jose Quintana (1.98). They rank first and third in the league overall.
They also have a combined 15-3 record for the Sox. The team is 11-15 in the games they haven’t pitched.
Sunday’s crowd of 34,526 was the second largest of the season, behind the 38,019 on Opening Day.
Follow me on Twitter