Photos of White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu.
Jose Abreu and April typically haven’t hit it off.
The White Sox first baseman and designated hitter had a miserable start to the month. For example, he has had 22 strikeouts — four more than his total last April — and the Sox still have seven games left in the month.
In each of the previous three seasons, his batting average improved several percentage points from April to May.
Perhaps Monday night’s performance marked the start of another turnaround. Abreu recorded his first three-hit game of the season, including a home run and five RBIs, during the Sox’s 12-2 victory over in Baltimore. The Sox and Orioles face off again at 6:05 tonight, and as usual Abreu will bat third in the lineup.
“He’s never prolific in April,” manager Rick Renteria told reporters after Monday’s game. “He’s not the only one. You could probably name a few. … A lot of guys early on don’t end up getting into a rhythm, and he ends up grinding through trying to keep himself afloat until he catches a little bit more, gets himself in sync.”
Said Abreu through an interpreter: “At the end of the day, at the end of the season, the numbers, the stats are going to be there.”
Speaking of the numbers, let’s take a look at a few relevant ones for Abreu:
April 23: The date generally has been kind to Abreu. He had two homers, three runs and 3 RBIs on four hits against the Mariners last year, and he scored two runs and started a six-game multihit streak on April 23, 2016. Of the three previous seasons, 2016 is the outlier: He went 1-for-6.
.667: Abreu’s career average against Andrew Cashner, tonight’s Orioles starter.
11: Total bases in his last three games, on six hits, entering Tuesday. He totaled 14 bases in the rest of April.
150: Home runs in his 763-game career, the third-fastest pace in Sox history behind Frank Thomas and Jermaine Dye, according to STATS.
10th: His rank on the team’s all-time home-run list. He needs two more to tie Carlos Lee.
505: Career RBIs. He became the 21st player in franchise history to reach 500 on Friday against the Tigers.
.174: His low point in batting average this season, which came Wednesday against the Royals. It’s the lowest his average has dipped since April 18, 2017, when he was at .157.
.176: Average over his last 13 games, though he has 8 RBIs over that span.
.192/.259/.342: That’s his very un-Abreu-like April slash line. Last season it was .264/.343./.473 in April and jumped to .330/.376/.557 in May.
25.5 percent: His strikeout rate, 10th-highest among qualified first basemen (54th overall).
94th percentile: Where his 54.1 percent hard-hit rate ranks among MLB leaders.