Jose Abreu hit the disabled list under a shroud of mystery a couple of weeks ago, undergoing what the White Sox described as only as “outpatient surgery on his lower abdomen/groin.”
My best guess was a hernia, but it turned out to be something more colorful. The surgery was to relieve testicular torsion, and Abreu made up for the lack of detail at the onset with plenty of it on Tuesday:
“It was one of my testicles turned sideways and was strangled,” he said through a team translator. “The doctor had to perform emergency surgery to save it. I never thought about it, but it was serious. The doctors they did a very good job and everything is good. They saved the testicle. I’m really glad and thankful like I said before for all the people who helped me and who were there for me. I feel very grateful right now.”
Abreu is the second White Sox this season to suffer testicular trauma. Welington Castillo missed a few games in early May due to abdominal pain stemming from a foul tip to his groin.
On Welington Castillo:
RENTERIA: "He's still day-to-day. I'm just giving him one more day. As you guys know he took a ball to the…a foul tip to the…"@MLBBruceLevine: “Groin"
RENTERIA: "…Groin area, and I'm just trying to give him a little space."
— James Fegan (@JRFegan) May 4, 2018
Abreu wants to return this weekend against the Angels, which seems optimistic, but even with a more cautious return, he could reach 25 homers for the fifth time in as many seasons (he’s currently at 22). With just 78 RBIs, though, he won’t reach 100 of those for the fifth time in as many seasons. It could produce an annoying gap on his Baseball-Reference.com page, along the lines of Magglio Ordonez’s 29-homer, 99-RBI season in 2003, or Mark Buehrle’s 198⅔ innings pitched in 2015. At least it’ll be rather easy to remember the reason he came up short.
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The White Sox completed their September call-ups by adding Jose Ruiz to the 40-man roster. To make room, the White Sox outrighted Matt Skole.
If you missed my 40-man roster bubble post last month, I surmised Ruiz would appear in Chicago in September as a way of figuring out whether he should hang around past November. He’s a minor-league free agent after the season, meaning that the White Sox will have to decide whether to retain him on the 40-man roster before the other Rule 5-eligible prospects.
Ruiz grabbed the Sox’ attention over the winter due to his fastball-slider combination, and the White Sox snagged him on a waiver claim from the Padres. They were able to succeed in sneaking him through waivers as they shifted players during the offseason. James Fegan provided an updated scouting report:
“I’ve been working a lot on the slider,” Ruiz said through Russo. “That’s been the most improved pitch from last year to this year. I’ve been playing around with the changeup just to mix my repertoire and my stuff. My best pitch is still the fastball.”
Renteria said Ruiz “is a young man with a little flair.”
There will be updates at The Athletic when it is determined what about Ruiz he was referring to.
If the roster is expanded from here, the White Sox figure it’ll be from one of the players on the DL. Rick Hahn said Monday that Nate Jones is supposed to try rehabbing with Winston-Salem during its playoff run, while Leury Garcia and Abreu are on mid-month timetables.
I hedge with ‘figure” because injuries after the release of Derek Holland forced the White Sox to call up Chris Volstad and Al Alburquerque last year as part of one last unplanned wave of additions. That’s not me holding out false hope for Eloy Jimenez.