White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu entered play Tuesday with 22 home runs — third in MLB behind only Edwin Encarnacion (24) of the Blue Jays and Nelson Cruz (23) of the Orioles. But the sensational rookie slugger doesn’t have any desire to strut his stuff in the 2014 Home Run Derby at Target Field.
“Home Run Derby is not something I’m too crazy about,” Abreu told Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times Tuesday through a translator. “It’s a good thing but I am not really interested or looking forward to. I really wouldn’t want to do it. I did it in Cuba several times and I wasn’t much into it.”
“The first thing it does is affect you mentally,” he continued. “You go out and try to hit home runs. I’m not a guy who tries to hit homers. I let them come when they come .. sometimes it messes with your mechanics.”
Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista was named the American League captain for the Home Run Derby and is in charge of finding four players to join him. Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is the NL captain.
Abreu signed a six-year, $68 million contract with Chicago last October after defecting from Cuba.
The Mets entered Sunday night’s game against the Pirates with a disappointing 20-27 record. While the club has dealt with a litany of injuries, manager Terry Collins has also drawn criticism for in-game decision-making, particularly regarding his decision-making.
Owner Fred Wilpon is still Collins’ strongest supporter, however, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports. As a result, the team is unlikely to make a managerial change anytime soon. If the Mets continue to struggle, though, ownership may feel pressured to make a change.
Collins became the longest-tenured manager in Mets history last week. Collins managed the Mets to a 77-85 record in 2011 and has overall helped the club go 501-518, winning the NL Pennant in 2015. He is not signed to a contract beyond this season.
Twins first baseman Joe Mauer had a game for the record books on Sunday against the Rays. He finished 4-for-5 with an RBI double, a solo home run, two singles, and three walks in eight plate appearances. Unfortunately for him, the Twins still lost 8-6 in 15 innings.
ESPN’s Stats & Info notes that Mauer is the first Twin to reach base seven times in one game since Rod Carew in 1972 against the Brewers. The last player to reach base seven times in one game (without the aid of an error) was Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford on August 8 last season against the Marlins. The feat has only been accomplished seven times this decade, so about once a year.
After Sunday’s game, Mauer is batting .283/.363/.408 with three home runs, 18 RBI, and 23 runs scored in 171 plate appearances. Not too shabby.