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Jose Abreu becoming a hot commodity

Updated: June 10, 2014 6:46AM



Jose Abreu is getting to be all that.

Abreu’s Player of the Month performance in April has been noticed, and sales of his No. 79 jersey have climbed 200 percent, according to Crain’s. Abreu is also being featured on a regional cover of Sports Illustrated, so you might say he’s becoming kind of a big deal.

“It’s fun for us to have a guy like him that nobody knew about last year,” manager Robin Ventura said. “It makes it fun for us, and being around him, he’s a humble kid.’’

Abreu doubled in his first two at-bats Wednesday against the Cubs and scored the game’s first run. That gave him 11 doubles to go with 12 home runs.

The last thing Ventura seemed worried about was the notoriety going to Abreu’s head.

“Our guys root for him, and you’re happy for all of these accolades he’s getting,’’ Ventura said. “It’s not going to change him. He’s such a good team person, and you like to see stuff like this happen to people like him.”

Semien stays

Outfielder Jordan Danks was optioned to Class AAA Charlotte to make room for third baseman Conor Gillaspie, who was reinstated from the disabled list. The move leaves utility infielder Leury Garcia and Adam Dunn as backup outfielders until Adam Eaton returns from the DL.

Rookie Marcus Semien, who started at third base, was thought to possibly be on the bubble.

“There’s enough for him to be in the mix and get him some opportunities to still be up here and get at-bats and help us win,’’ Ventura said. “I think he deserves to be up here the way he’s been playing. We’ll find a way to play him.’’

This and that

Erik Johnson gave up two earned runs in seven innings for Charlotte. In two starts, Johnson (1.38 ERA) has struck out 10, walked two and allowed eight hits over 13 innings. Ventura said Johnson would have at least one more start at Class AAA.

Paul Konerko said that getting a Wrigley Field scoreboard No.  14 from the Cubs on Tuesday “was a classy move by them. I didn’t expect that. That’ll definitely go up in the house somewhere.’’

◆ Pitchers went through spring-training-like fielding practice before the game. The Sox’ defense overall and baserunning haven’t been crisp. “Even if you’re doing it well,’’ Ventura said, ‘‘you’re still going to work at it. We’d like to be better at all of it.’’

Chris Sale threw his second bullpen session in three days.

Email: dvanschouwen@suntimes.com

Twitter: @CST_soxvan



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