Thursday, March 6, 2014
Stoic Abreu hits first spring home run
By Doug Padilla
Pitching to Jose Abreu is hard enough. It’s probably impossible to get a read on him in poker.
The Chicago White Sox's biggest offseason acquisition hit his first home run of the spring Thursday, an opposite-field shot against the Kansas City Royals, and afterward it was impossible to tell if the moment was even remotely exciting for him.
“It will be the same (every day),” Abreu said through an interpreter, when asked if the home run took a weight off his shoulders. “The toughest game of spring training was my first one. After that, it will be the same tomorrow and the same the rest of spring. I don’t get too stressed, too uptight. I’m just doing my work.”
Spring training is going on three weeks and already Abreu’s determined, business-like approach has come to define him. He will laugh on occasion, like the time Adam Dunn used a smart-phone app to translate his every thought from English to Spanish and then play them aloud.
But mostly, Abreu is all about hard work. If he fails with the White Sox, it won’t be because he didn’t put in the effort.
Outside of his work ethic, Abreu is also becoming known for his ability to hit the ball to all fields. His home run Thursday was a shot to right field.
“I hit the ball to all parts of the field,” Abreu said when asked about his opposite-field power. “Today was just an outside pitch and I was able to put it that way. The most important thing is that I get them.”
It came as no surprise that Abreu called the home run, on a fastball from Brad Penny, his best contact of the spring. As for if it being the first of many more to come, Abreu wasn’t about to go there.
“We’re working hard and we’ll see,” he said. “They’ll be coming in.”