CHICAGO --- Jose Abreu has had a lot to adjust to since coming to the United States from Cuba, such as a new language, new food and new teammates, to a name a few. As of late, however, the biggest adjustment for Abreu has been hitting Major League pitching.
Abreu is mired in a 1-for-20 slump, and he was given the day off for the first time this season on Thursday. White Sox captain Paul Konerko took his place at first base. It was Konerko's second start of the season.
"He has a lot going on," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of Abreu. "And adjusting to different things, this is the right time to give him a day as we go out on the road; you give him the day and a breather and let him get back at it tomorrow."
Abreu's average reached .300 after a two-home run game against Cleveland on April 10, his second two-homer game in three days. That was the 10th game of the season, and Abreu had seven runs, four homers and 14 RBIs to that point. The slump started after that. He has since picked up just the one hit, scoring one run while walking four times in five games.
Part of the problem could be Abreu's propensity to swing through too many breaking balls after showing fair discipline at the plate early on.
"You probably have some of it that you might be tired, you're seeing new guys and they might be getting a report, but you go back in the cage, work on it," Ventura said. "The hardest part of all this is that baseball's relentless. It's every day of being able to gear back up, and when you're not feeling quite right to be able to go out and perform.
"He's got certain pressures on him that probably other guys don't have, so today's a good day to just give him a day."
Joe Popely is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.