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As the old saying goes, Jose Abreu’s August excursion to Minneapolis was indeed more fun than a strangled testicle.
Abreu went 5-for-12 with two homers, a double and seven RBIs in the series victory, which keeps his August OPS above 1.000. This resurgence helps relieve some of the apprehension of the White Sox getting too attached to Abreu, because if you can trust Abreu’s account, that’s what’s happening.
‘‘Jerry several times has told me and my family that I am not going to wear a jersey other than a White Sox jersey,’’ Abreu told the Sun-Times through a translator Wednesday. ‘‘I believe him; I believe in his word. And, like I said, I’m very happy with and loyal to this organization. Hopefully everything is going to pan out.’’
Abreu’s ardor for remaining a White Sox is appreciable and worth appreciating, but I guess we should’ve expected it to be contaminated by the White Sox-specific weirdness that has made a mess of previous decision-making processes. Nothing gold can stay and whatnot.
The White Sox aren’t good at goodbye, but they do love themselves a party. On Sox Machine Live, I said I could picture the White Sox making a ceremony of extending Abreu during the final series of the season, so I may as well put that prediction in writing.
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Speaking of parties, if it looked like Lucas Giolito was having himself a grand old time while shutting out the Minnesota Twins, you’d be correct. He mixed business with pleasure while constructing his three-hitter, and it sounds like he’s beginning to trust his place in the game.
“I’m a big caffeine guy,” Giolito said. “Getting my Red Bulls in and kind of bouncing around the dugout. I used to like, all (through) coming up as a kid and in the minor leagues, I would take everything so seriously and I would sit there and think and be on the bench in between innings and I realized: why do that? Why not be myself at all times? And that’s usually dancing around, bouncing around, acting like a you know…acting a little crazy sometimes. I like to stay with myself when I’m out there doing my thing.”
Speaking of his place, here’s where Giolito stands among qualified American League starters:
- Wins: 14 (t-3rd)
- ERA: 3.20 (7th)
- IP: 151.2 (15th)
- Strikeouts: 194 (6th)
- bWAR: 5.3 (4th)
- fWAR: 4.7 (3rd)
- FIP: 3.10 (4th)
- WARP: 4.5 (5th)
- DRA: 3.10 (5th)*
(Deserved Run Average seems like it’s a worthy look when it involves the top of the leaderboard, but the updated column says Reynaldo Lopez’s DRA is 7.02 and Iván Nova’s is 6.80. I had no idea meatball algorithms existed.)
When assessing his chances at Cy Young consideration, Giolito’s kinda like a team that’s only three games out of the second wild card. He can technically close the amount of distance between him and the top of the American League, but he’s going to need some help from the cluster of pitchers in between. The pool of legit Cy Young candidates includes Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, Charlie Morton, Lance Lynn, Mike Minor and Shane Bieber, and Giolito is missing two starts on the competition due to his early season hamstring injury.
That said, he’s already won. The fact that he’s even in the conversation after his 2018 season makes a previously unthinkable Cy Young quest not worth overthinking.