Abreu Admits He's Trying To Do Too Much

Jose Abreu's OPS has fallen by 138 points in the past five weeks.

Bruce Levine
July 11, 2018 - 8:04 pm
White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu

Patrick Gorski/USA Today Sports

Categories: 

CHICAGO (670 The Score) -- Mired in a five-week slump, White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu admitted his struggles may have something to do with taking on too big of a burden.

"Yes, I think so," Abreu said through a translator when asked if his leadership role had impacted his numbers. "I always want to give 110 percent of myself to this organization to help us win games. Sometimes you take more responsibility than you should take. That is just who I am. I always come here to do my best."

Something has certainly been amiss lately for the 31-year-old Abreu, who was hitting .301 with an .888 OPS on June 5. In the month-plus since, his numbers have fallen to a .254 batting average and .750 OPS. Despite the individual downturn, Abreu won't change his style, as he'll continue to devote himself to supporting a young rebuilding team. 

Abreu pushed back at the idea that he could be a little more selfish in honing in solely on his own work.

"I can't do that," he said. "That is not who I am. That is never going to happen. Like I said, I represent this organization. This is not about me but this organization. I represent these colors and and team because I love these people. That is all that matters."

Despite the statistical struggles for Abreu recently, manager Rick Renteria believes he's still been a key figure.

"He has been trying to do a little bit too much," Renteria said. "He has been trying to carry the guys between the lines. Not so much what he does in the clubhouse. He does everything by example. His routine has not changed. His attitude and demeanor have not changed. Right now in the box, he is getting out of his hitting zone in terms of selecting pitches he can handle. We are just trying to get him to relax and do what he does best. He wants to do everything well for us so badly. He needs to pull himself back and let him deal with it."

Abreu had 10 homers in the White Sox's first 58 games. He has two in the 33 games since.

"He is a role model in that clubhouse," general manager Rick Hahn said. "There has never been a question about his preparation. I think from the taking-on-too-much standpoint, I think he might try to do that when the team is struggling and thinking one at-bat can turn around a game singlehandedly. That may be too much for him to take on."

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.​