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White Sox angling for plenty of individual awards

Manager Rick Renteria, first baseman Jose Abreu, shortstop Tim Anderson and center fielder Luis Robert are all building strong cases.

White Sox manager Rick Renteria is being promoted as an AL Manager of the Year candidate.
White Sox manager Rick Renteria is being promoted as an AL Manager of the Year candidate.
Morry Gash/AP

The White Sox’ media-relations department is promoting Rick Renteria as an American League Manager of the Year candidate, and why not?

Renteria guided the Sox to a 32-16 record, the best in the AL, going into the game against the Twins on Wednesday. That .667 win percentage was a .220 increase this season, the largest in the majors. The Padres (plus-.208) of the National League were second.

“You stay focused on what it is you’re doing; I don’t try to get too high or too low,” Renteria said Wednesday. “There are times over the course of a season, including this one, in which we win a ballgame but are still not satisfied because there are certain things that needed to be done or weren’t accomplished. And then there are games you did everything you could and maybe you don’t come out on the top, and you’re happy with the way everybody went about it, minus the victory.”

Renteria, 58, entered the season with a 274-373 career record in one season with the Cubs and three with the Sox. This is his first team that is built to win.

“I’ve just got to keep moving forward and make sure everybody’s preparing, make sure they’re enjoying themselves and they’re having fun and they’re relaxed,” Renteria said.

Chuck Tanner (1972), Tony La Russa (1983), Jeff Torborg (1990), Gene Lamont (1993), Jerry Manuel (2000) and Ozzie Guillen (2005) are previous Sox recipients of the honor.

Awards II

Shortstop Tim Anderson and first baseman Jose Abreu are attempting to become the fourth Sox players to be named AL MVP, joining Nellie Fox (1959), Dick Allen (1972) and Frank Thomas (1993, 1994).

Abreu is the AL leader in hits and RBI and is attempting to join Red Sox outfielders Jim Rice (1978) and Carl Yastrzemski (1967) and Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig (1931) as the only players to lead the AL in those categories.

Anderson is trying to repeat as the major-league leader in batting average, and Abreu is going for a second consecutive RBI crown. Both are leading with 12 games left. Anderson (55), who spent 10 days on the injured list, was second to Abreu (61) in hits.

Spring-training schedule

The spring-training schedule featuring a Feb. 27 opener at home in Glendale, Arizona, against the Brewers and a wrap-up of three games at the Cubs in the last five days was released.

The Sox play the Cubs on March 19 at Camelback Ranch and March 26, 29 and 30 at Sloan Park.

The Sox’ 2021 regular season opens April 1 at the Angels. The home opener is April 8 against the Royals.

The 2020 spring-training season was canceled March 12 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The regular season was delayed to July 19 and trimmed to 60 games instead of the full 162.

Edwin sits, but not for long

Edwin Encarnacion (.168/ .265/.403) did not start for the second straight game but will play in the series finale Thursday, Renteria said, and “possibly the next five, six, seven days. We’re trying to do everything we can to get everybody on track.’’

Nomar Mazara (.223/.298/.272) was in right field after sitting out Tuesday. The more productive and better defensive option Adam Engel was back on the bench after a 2-for-4 night.

Renteria is still hoping to get Mazara, who had not homered before Wednesday, going.

‘‘We’ll just continue to look at the matchups and what we can do in order to maximize what they’re both able to offer,” Renteria said.