White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu smacked his 10th home run yesterday and the rookie from Cuba now holds the MLB record for the most April homers and the most April RBIs (31) by a rookie in baseball history.
Albert Pujols previously held the rookie RBI record with 27 and Pujols, Carlos Delgado, and Kent Hrbek held the rookie homer record with nine apiece. Scott Merkin of MLB.com notes that Abreu is also the first player in baseball history to have four or more RBIs four times in his first 26 career games.
Beyond the rookie marks, Abreu leads the American League in homers, RBIs, and slugging percentage while ranking sixth in OPS and suddenly the White Sox’s six-year, $68 million investment in the 27-year-old looks like it might be one of the shrewdest moves of the offseason.
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Rockies reliever Seunghwan Oh recently said to the Yonhap News Agency that he wanted to return to South Korea to finish out his career. He has one year and $2.5 million remaining. His 2019 club option became guaranteed when he reached 70 appearances in the 2018 regular season. It sounded like Oh didn’t want to pitch for the Rockies next season. Oh said, “I am a bit exhausted after spending five seasons in Japan and the United States. I feel like I want to return to the KBO while I still have the energy to help the team and pitch in front of home fans. I can’t make this decision alone. I’ll have to speak with my agency about the next season.”
Rockies GM Jeff Bridich has a different sense of the situation, per Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. Bridich said, “From what we have been told, it was much ado about nothing regarding Oh. His comments to the Korean media were not specifically about 2019. It was more about ending his career there. Our understanding is that he has every intention of honoring his current contract.”
Oh, 36, pitched 68 1/3 innings this past season between the Blue Jays (47 innings) and Rockies (21 1/3). In aggregate, he posted a 2.63 ERA with a 79/17 K/BB ratio in 68 1/3 innings. The Rockies have the bulk of their bullpen returning next year, save for Adam Ottavino who is a free agent.