Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu, a very viable and heavily supported candidate for the Rookie of the Year Award, was just activated off of the disabled list Monday. The 27-year old Cuban player spent two weeks, two could be important weeks, on the disabled list with an ankle injury. I say important because other rookies have emerged as potential superstars.
A perfect example is the Houston Astros’ outfielder George Springer, who hit ten home runs in the month of May and then there is always the looming question surrounding the astounding pitching of the New York Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka. Tanaka is a questionable candidate for rookie of the year because he has seven years of professional experience, playing in Japan prior to coming to the states. Sometimes that can sway voters (members of the Baseball Writers Association of America) not to vote for a certain candidate. Having professional experience, even outside the United States, does in essence make it easier to adjust to the major leagues in the U.S.
Abreu played today as though he had never been gone, reminding everyone that he broke a ton of rookie records during the month of April, including hitting .270 with ten home runs and 32 RBI. Springer set the Astro’s record for home runs by a rookie in a month hitting ten as well. Abreu may have some competition.
However Abreu, fresh off the disabled list, showed the baseball world just how good he really is. He hit a line drive home run to left field in his second at-bat of the night putting the White Sox ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-0.
Even though the Dodgers ended up winning the game by scoring five runs in the seventh inning, there is no way anyone can say that Jose Abreu is not only back but back in front of the race for rookie of the year.