CHICAGO -- Jose Abreu has returned to the White Sox, happy and feeling good after undergoing surgery to relieve testicular torsion on Aug. 21.
Abreu hopes to return to action by the end of the week and was cleared to participate Tuesday in his second day of light activity. Abreu also was announced as the White Sox nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, an honor in recognition of a player who best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions on and off the field.
This marks Abreu's third consecutive nomination for the award.
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Already known as the consummate leader and mentor within the youth-filled White Sox clubhouse, Abreu does the same outside the baseball confines. He launched Abreu's Amigos with the help of the White Sox in 2015 in partnership with Easterseals Academy. The organization provides regular opportunities for students with special needs to develop social skills in a recreational setting through field trips to the ballpark.
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Nearly 70 students have visited the ballpark through Abreu's program, with monthly visits scheduled for an additional 25 students in 2018. Abreu made a $10,000 donation to kick off the program during a baseball clinic on the school's White Sox Field. He also held a pizza party for nearly 200 students and staff members this season.
"Those are the things that make you proud," said Abreu, through interpreter Billy Russo, of the Clemente Award honor. "To be recognized and honored as a representative of the team makes you feel honored. Even though the last two weeks have been difficult for me because of my physical things, getting that news is good.
"It puts you in a better mood and it motivates you, makes you feel good to know you're being recognized for your work. Not just on the field, but off the field, too. I just want to thank the White Sox organization because they gave me the opportunity to represent the team, to be the player and person that I am."
Abreu thanked the White Sox and his doctors among the people who helped him through his recovery. He's watched every game during the absence.
"I'm excited about the way the team is playing," Abreu said. "The guys are doing a good job. That's why I'm anxious to get back as and help the team, to help the young guys, and finish the season as strong as possible."
Fan taken for treatment after getting hit
A fan was struck in the face by a Jeimer Candelario foul ball during the ninth inning of Chicago's 8-3 loss to Detroit at Guaranteed Rate Field. The ball was pulled foul down the right-field line and hit a man sitting in the front row.
He was taken to Rush University Medical Center for treatment, per the White Sox, after receiving immediate attention at the field.
"I was trying to get a good look, but I was scared," Candelario said. "Hopefully everything is good. I think he was trying to get away from it, and he just moved back and the ball was like a two-seamer I think. But I know for sure it hit a way big part of the face. Hopefully he will be good. Nobody wants to get hit no matter where you're sitting. It's sad."
"That's why those nets are up. We have them in Detroit way down the line, and that's the reason why so that doesn't happen," Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I know people want foul balls, but this is a very fast game, and they hit the ball very hard. I think it hit a gentleman, hopefully he's OK. I know it got him pretty good from what they said, and that's the worst feeling in the world when you're sitting in the dugout and see it go in the stands."
Ruiz gets the call
The White Sox purchased the contract of right-handed pitcher Jose Ruiz from Double-A Birmingham and outrighted infielder Matt Skole to Triple-A Charlotte. Ruiz, 23, combined to go 3-1 with a 3.07 ERA, 16 saves, 77 strikeouts (11.8 per 9.0 IP), and a .188 opponents average over 43 appearances with Class A Winston-Salem and Birmingham this season. It was his first in the Chicago organization after being claimed off waivers from San Diego on Dec. 22, 2017.
Ruiz, a converted catcher, was packing to go home when he got the news.
"It has been my goal my whole career," said Ruiz through Russo. "I have been working really hard this season in the Minors just with that goal in mind, just to reach the Majors. Now that I'm here, I'm very excited."
Ruiz's fastball rates as his top pitch, but he also has focused on his slider and played around with a changeup.
Jimenez, Cease win monthly honor
Charlotte outfielder Eloy Jimenez and Birmingham right-hander Dylan Cease have been named the White Sox Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Month for August, as voted on by Chicago media.
Jimenez, the top-rated White Sox prospect and No. 3 prospect in baseball per MLB Pipeline, hit .359 with a .938 OPS, four home runs and 16 RBIs in August. He had a slash line of .371/.403/.629 with 10 homers, 29 RBIs and a 1.033 OPS over 43 games after the break.
Cease, the No. 44 prospect in baseball per MLB Pipeline, posted a 1-0 record with a 0.51 ERA over four August starts before the White Sox shut him down when he reached his innings limit. He struck out 29 and allowed six hits over 17 2/3 innings. Cease finished 3-0 with a 0.94 ERA and 71 strikeouts over his final nine starts, covering 47 2/3 innings.
"Fantastic season for Dylan. Could not be more pleased with his development," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. "He should enter next Spring Training feeling very good about what he accomplished and in a very good position to help us in the future."