White Sox face Twins, wrap up disappointing season
Wednesday’s matinee against the visiting Minnesota Twins marks the final game of a disappointing season for the Chicago White Sox.
Whether it doubles as Jose Abreu’s last appearance in White Sox pinstripes remains to be seen.
Abreu, Chicago’s first baseman since 2014 and the American League Most Valuable Player in 2020, will be a free agent at season’s end. Whatever his future, he remains appreciative of a fan base that has embraced him throughout his tenure on the South Side.
“These were a special nine years, and I hope there can be more,” Abreu said. “But up to now it’s been very special, and I’m going to be forever grateful for them.”
Abreu enters Wednesday with seven hits in his past six games. He doubled in Tuesday’s 8-3 victory against the Twins, which assured Chicago (81-80), the AL Central champion last season, of at least a .500 finish.
Abreu is batting a team-best .304 while ranking second with 75 RBIs and tied for third with 15 home runs.
White Sox general manager Rick Hahn, who this week lauded Abreu’s character and dedication, was diplomatic about how the first baseman might fit into the organization’s plans beyond this season.
“Obviously, there’s only so many different ways that you can fit various players on the roster, and Jose returning would have a ripple effect on others,” Hahn said. “But we’ll have to wait to see how things unfold and make those decisions accordingly.”
Minnesota (77-84) has lost four straight and five of six. Arguably the biggest storyline for the Twins entering the season finale is first baseman Luis Arraez’s quest for the AL batting title.
Arraez is trying to become the first Twin to win a league batting crown since Joe Mauer in 2009. Arraez enters Wednesday with a .315 batting average, with his nearest challenger, Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees, hitting .311.
Judge is seeking to become the majors’ first Triple Crown winner since 2012. He leads the AL with a league-record 62 home runs to go with 131 RBIs.
Arraez was held out of the lineup in the series opener Monday as he deals with left-hamstring pain.
Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said after Tuesday’s game he expects Arraez to play Wednesday, but the team will gauge Arraez’s condition closer to game time.
“I feel better. I feel better. I feel, like, 70 or 80 percent,” Arraez said. “I’m happy because I played tonight. If I play, I’m happy.”
Chicago’s Davis Martin (3-5, 3.65 ERA) is set to oppose Minnesota’s Louie Varland (0-2, 4.71) in a matchup of rookie right-handers.
Martin enjoyed a sterling September, pitching to a 1.99 ERA in 22 2/3 innings, including five shutout innings in a no-decision against the Twins in his first career game vs. Minnesota.
Varland has logged at least five innings in his four major league starts. He is coming off Thursday’s no-decision against the White Sox, when he allowed two runs and three hits in five innings with two walks and three strikeouts.
–Field Level Media