CHICAGO -- After two weeks on the disabled list and two simulated games in their home ballpark, the White Sox have seen enough and activated Jose Abreu on Monday for the start of a three-game series at Los Angeles against the Dodgers.
Abreu, who still leads the team in home runs (15) and RBIs (42) despite being out since May 18 with left ankle tendinitis, was both the American League's player of the month for April as well as the rookie of the month.
The team made the move official on Monday afternoon.
Abreu's road to recovery didn't come without a scare. During a simulated game Saturday, one of the team's minor league pitchers, flown into Chicago for the occasion, hit Abreu with a pitch above the left elbow. After a short visit from trainer Herm Schneider, Abreu continued his workout Saturday and participated in one final one Sunday afternoon.
"Yes, I think I'm ready," Abreu said Sunday through an interpreter. "I'm anxious to get started. I'm ready."
Abreu showed a slight limp during his workouts over the weekend, but nothing like the painful hobble he displayed before he went on the DL. One reason for his uneven gait could be that the ankle is not only wrapped, but Abreu is wearing an orthotic inside his shoe, while also hitting with an ankle guard on top of all that.
His return won't come easy. Since the White Sox will be playing in a National League park for three days, Abreu won't have the designated-hitter spot at his disposal. He will have to play first base for any game he participates in, at least until the White Sox move across town for a three-game series that opens against the Angels on Friday.
Then there is the added pressure of reviving a White Sox offense that has started to slip of late. The White Sox have averaged 10 strikeouts per game over their last five games before Sunday. In the first two games of the current series against the San Diego Padres, the White Sox scored only three runs, and just one of those came on an RBI.
"No, no there's pressure at all," Abreu said. "Unfortunately the last couple of days our offense has been down but that's part of baseball. You have ups and downs. You're going to go through those, whether I'm here or not, they can do it. It's a team. I don't feel pressure that I have to come in and do anything different."