Abreu, Robert take honors cour­ses

Chicago Sun-Times - - SPORTS - BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN, STAFF RE­PORTER

The White Sox dou­bled down on a pair of monthly honors Wed­nes­day. First base­man Jose Abreu was named Amer­i­can League Player of the Month, and cen­ter fielder Luis

Robert was named AL Rookie of the Month for July/Au­gust.

It’s the third such ca­reer honor for Abreu, while Robert claimed the rookie honor in his first 33 games in the ma­jor leagues. Last week, righthande­r Lu­cas Gi­olito was named AL Player of the Week af­ter pitch­ing a no­hit­ter against the Pi­rates — one week af­ter Abreu snagged that dis­tinc­tion.

“One of the things that made me hap­pier is that Luis Robert award,” Abreu said. “That was one of my goals when the sea­son started, to help him get as many awards as pos­si­ble. This is the first one.”

Abreu has taken Robert, a fel­low Cuban, un­der his wing.

“It’s very grat­i­fy­ing be­cause I’ve been push­ing him to get to this point,” Abreu said. “I’m go­ing to con­tinue push­ing him to do bet­ter and to take ad­van­tage of all his tal­ent. For us, he’s the Cuban Mike Trout. I’m go­ing to do all I can to make him a bet­ter player ev­ery day.”

Abreu, 33, hit .315/.359/.636 with 12 home runs, 10 dou­bles, 32 RBI and a .996 OPS in 35 games in July and Au­gust. His 11 homers in Au­gust were the sec­ond-most in club his­tory in that month be­hind Frank Thomas’ 13 in 2003.

Abreu set club records with six blasts in a three-game week­end se­ries against the Cubs, home­r­ing in four con­sec­u­tive plate ap­pear­ances over two games.

Robert, 23, bat­ted .298/.348/.612 with 10 homers, eight dou­bles, 24 RBI, 22 runs and four stolen bases while play­ing su­perb de­fense.

Mon­cada re­turns to lineup

Yoan Mon­cada re­turned to the lineup af­ter miss­ing three games with a sore ham­string, which has both­ered him for much of the sea­son. Mon­cada has been hin­dered by ham­string is­sues dur­ing his ca­reer, and start­ing sum­mer camp late be­cause of a pos­i­tive coro­n­avirus test prob­a­bly wasn’t ideal for his legs.

“I hope it’s not some­thing that lingers,” man­ager Rick Ren­te­ria said. “I hope it’s some­thing we can gen­uinely man­age. We miss him in the lineup, ob­vi­ously. He’s a big part of us.”

The train­ers are “rack­ing their brains to see what they can do to put him in a po­si­tion to play as much as pos­si­ble as con­sis­tently over time.”

Wait till next year for Kopech

Rather than trade for an­other starter, the Sox are bank­ing on

Rey­naldo Lopez, who started Wed­nes­day, to re­dis­cover his 2018 form and hop­ing Car­los Rodon

(shoul­der) can be healthy and ef­fec­tive when he re­turns from the in­jured list.

Lopez (8.38 ERA) al­lowed three runs (one earned), four hits and two walks in 1⅔ in­nings against the Twins.

Had Michael Kopech not opted out of this sea­son, talks of mak­ing up­grades might have been nonex­is­tent. But Kopech’s pres­ence will have to wait till next year.

“As I told you when we dis­cussed Michael orig­i­nally opt­ing out, we still view him as a pre­mium piece on a very good team for a long time,” gen­eral man­ager Rick Hahn said Mon­day.

Kopech’s name was floated be­fore the dead­line in ru­mors in­volv­ing Mike

Clevinger, who was traded to the

Padres.

“To be mo­ti­vated to move some­one like that, we’d have to feel we are hav­ing some­thing sim­i­lar walk in the door,” Hahn said. “We still think very highly of Michael.” dvan­schouwen@sun­times.com | @CST_­sox­van

JIM MONE/AP

Sox cen­ter fielder Luis Robert makes a leap­ing at­tempt but can’t pre­vent a home run by Twins cen­ter fielder Jake Cave in the sec­ond in­ning.

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