GLENDALE, Ariz. — The oddsmakers aren’t wild about the White Sox’ chances of piling up wins in 2017. Bovada released over-under win totals Tuesday, putting the rebuilding South Siders at 69œ.
After trading Chris Sale and Adam Eaton in the offseason, the Sox set sail on a rebuilding phase, although they haven’t made any trades since. Losing one of the best pitchers in baseball and the team’s most productive offensive player in 2016 from a team that won 78 games is a significant blow, and more trades are highly possible.
Sixty-nine wins means 93 losses, not the 100 some thought possible when general manager Rick Hahn first embarked on the rebuild. The Sox’ chances are fluid, however, with staff ace Jose Quintana, closer David Robertson and 2016 home run leader Todd Frazier all potential trade chips.
An informal Twitter poll suggested the Bovada number to be slightly low, with 57 percent of 754 voters saying the Sox would go over. The Sox’ over-under total was set at 80œ last spring. After starting out 23-10, they sagged to a 78-84 finish.
Abreu in court
First baseman Jose Abreu was expected to testify Wednesday in Miami in the federal trial of a sports agent and trainer who are accused of smuggling Cuban players into the United States so they could sign lucrative contracts.
None of the players is accused of wrongdoing in the case against agent Bartolo Hernandez and trainer Julio Estrada, who have pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and alien smuggling charges.
“I expect [Abreu] back Wednesday,” Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “I don’t know if he’ll be here in time. We’ll plan on him being here, but plan on not using him [Wednesday].
“It’s something that we were made aware of, and so he’s got to have this time, and once he gets back, I’m sure he’ll be wanting to get back in the swing of things.”
On the mend
Renteria said Frazier (left oblique), who began hitting Monday, “is doing very well. We are going to keep monitoring him, but he seems like he’s kind of over the hump and trying to push himself into active duty.”
Outfielder Charlie Tilson (stress reaction, right foot) is feeling better, Renteria said, and “is going to start throwing again. He’s still under control but feeling a lot better.”
Infielder Brett Lawrie (muscular discomfort, lower body) continued to receive treatment.
“There was never any indication that anything was wrong,” Renteria said. “We are going to see how it continues to go. We’ll re-evaluate it.”
Collins catching on
Catcher Zack Collins, the first-round draft pick who was 2-for-5 entering Tuesday’s game, had walks in two plate appearances, adding to his early sample of looking the part of a professional hitter.
Renteria spoke favorably of his defense, too, calling Collins a “very good receiver.”
“He’s doing a nice job calling games,” Renteria said. “Softer hands than I think people had thought. We’ve talked about trying to clean up his footwork so his throwing will be a little better. We believe he’s going to throw at
least average across the diamond when we clean up his footwork a little bit.”