White Sox’ Abreu close, but not quite ready for prime time

SHARE White Sox’ Abreu close, but not quite ready for prime time
brewers_white_sox_spring_baseball_74878111.jpg

White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu fouls a pitch off during a spring training game against the Brewers March 6 in Glendale, Ariz. (AP)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — A show of hands in the White Sox’ clubhouse would reveal that many players, if not most, are ready for the season to begin.

Not so for first baseman Jose Abreu, who’s glad he still has 10 days left to find his groove at the plate.

“I am trying to get into my rhythm,’’ Abreu said through a translator Thursday. “I’m not quite there yet, but there is a week [plus] to go. I’m getting to that point, but I’m not quite as comfortable as I want to feel.’’

RELATED STORIES White Sox in good hands with Sanchez at third White Sox manager pulls Garcia for not running hard

Abreu, who ranks second in the American League in total bases (1,266) since his first season in 2014, has been a model of consistency with a .301 career average to go with 36, 30, 25 and 33 homers, plus 100 or more RBI each season.

This spring, Abreu is batting .188 with two home runs in 32 at-bats. That means little in the small-sample-size world of Cactus League baseball, but it might be worth noting he batted .296, .383, .508 and .296 with an average of three homers in his first four springs. All it would take is two or three good games to put his spring numbers on the same track.

A stickler for hard work and repetition, Abreu said he doesn’t mind having more at-bats coming before the season opener March 29 at Kansas City.

“I like the extra week,’’ Abreu said. “You know me, I’m the kind of person who likes to work.’’

Abreu said his goal when he arrived in camp was “to stay healthy and feel good physically.’’

“So far I’ve accomplished that,’’ he said. “My body feels good, strong and healthy.’’

Fulmer not done yet

Manager Rick Renteria said right-hander Carson Fulmer, who has struggled mightily in four spring starts, will get another start or two to try to get on track.

Fulmer, who was pegged as the fifth starter, hasn’t been able to locate his pitches. He has allowed 10 walks and 18 hits, including seven homers, in 6⅔ innings (18.90 ERA).

“We still have a little bit more trust in him than you might think,’’ Renteria said. “I know we still have two more starts scheduled for him. We’ll see how the next one goes.’’

About Avi’s benching

Renteria, who pulled 2017 All-Star Avisail Garcia from a game Wednesday for not running hard, commended his right fielder for owning the mistake while pointing out that Garcia always (except for a rare instance Wednesday) is a max-effort player.

“It’s a great example to the young men who join us at the major-league level and through the system that there’s a certain way of going about your business,’’ Renteria said.

“There’s nobody that’s above anybody else. He knows he’s one of the guys that I count on to set an example.’’

Delmonico close

Nicky Delmonico (left shoulder) said he hopes to play Friday against the Cubs. Delmonico took fly balls and hit Wednesday, felt good the next morning and worked out in the field and hit Thursday.

Follow me on twitter @cst_soxvan.

Email: Dvanschouwen@suntimes.com

The Latest
The teenager was in fair condition after being shot in the 7200 block of South Laflin Avenue.
“We wanted this game,” Glenbrook North junior Patrick Schaller said. “It’s not too early to say this was a statement for us.”
Sixteen teams of students gave quick pitches, a la “Shark Tank,” on engineering projects to judges, which included engineers from companies like Google and Shure.
The driver of the car was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
“The bottom line is we have protection available. It’s just upon all of us now to make sure people use those tools,” the surgeon general said.