White Sox’ Jose Abreu is here to win

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Chicago White Sox’s Jose Abreu wipes his bat before taking batting practice at the team’s spring training baseball facility Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) ORG XMIT: AZCO111

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The White Sox might be rebuilding, but that doesn’t mean Jose Abreu has to accept losing.

Before the Sox took the field Wednesday for their workout at Kauffman Stadium in preparation for their season opener Thursday, the slugging first baseman was asked if 2018 can be a success even if the team ends up below .500, which is where most prognosticators see the Sox finishing.


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“We want to win,’’ Abreu said. “We’re going to fight, and at the end of the season, the results are going to be there.”

This is Abreu’s fifth season with the Sox, and he hasn’t played on a winner. And the Sox, coming off a 95-loss season and having nine players on an opening-day roster for the first time, have the odds stacked against breaking the trend. The latest over-unders from oddsmakers have the team pegged for 92 losses.

The Sox, as you’d expect, are aiming higher.

“We’re in a very good place right now,’’ Abreu said. “We have a very good team, a very young team but a lot of talent. I truly believe we’re going to have a good season.’’

Win or lose, the “Ricky’s boys don’t quit” mantra that took on a life of its own during manager Rick Renteria’s first season in 2017 still has steam.

“Just holding each other accountable and hustling and running balls out and playing [all-out] and doing whatever Ricky asks of us,” shortstop Tim Anderson said. “And that’s who we are becoming. Everybody in the league knows we play the whole game. We have to continue to do that.’’

The right Engel

Renteria takes spring-training results with a grain of salt, but he does like that center fielder Adam Engel, who tinkered with his swing after batting .166 last season, says he’s reacting to pitches now rather than focusing on his mechanics.

“It’s the biggest key because the last thing you want to be thinking about is what physical action you’re supposed to be taking,’’ Renteria said.

“If you’re thinking about mechanics, you’re probably not in a very good place.’’

Engel batted .383 with five walks and four home runs this spring. He’s a popular choice to have a breakout season.

“He’s not just a one-zone hitter now,’’ Renteria said. “He’s able to adjust to different levels of the hitting area, and he’s getting to a lot of pitches.’’


The Sox acquired right-hander Ricardo Pinto from the Phillies for international-signing bonus-pool money.

Pinto, 24, split the 2017 season between the Phillies and Class AAA Lehigh Valley, going 1-2 with a 7.89 ERA in 25 relief appearances with Philadelphia. He’ll report to Class A Winston-Salem.

Anderson, Delmonico say they’re OK

Anderson (right shoulder) and left fielder Nicky Delmonico (hamstring) worked out Wednesday afternoon and expect to play without restrictions Thursday.

Making it official

Left-hander Carlos Rodon (rehabbing left shoulder) and catcher Kevan Smith (sprained left ankle) were put on the disabled list, and the contract of left-hander Hector Santiago was purchased, finalizing the opening-day roster and filling the 40-man roster.

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