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Jose Abreu still a ‘no’ for Home Run Derby

Updated: August 2, 2014 6:28AM

Jose Bautista — the captain of the American League team that will take part in the Home Run Derby during All-Star festivities July 14 — last weekend in Toronto, White Sox rookie slugger Jose Abreu isn’t thinking about participating in the competition.

He made that clear Monday.

‘‘After the conversation we had, to be honest with you, that’s not what I’m thinking about right now,’’ Abreu said through a translator. ‘‘I’m more concentrated on helping the team right now. I’m not really interested in the Home Run Derby. Things change . . . but right now that’s not something that’s [on] the top of
my priorities.’’

Manager Robin Ventura has seen Abreu put the Sox first all season and didn’t sound surprised he would react the way he has to the derby talk. That said, Ventura wasn’t ruling out Abreu teaming with Bautista.

‘‘Since he arrived here, he’s always been talking about the team and wants whatever is best,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘For him, even going in the home-run contest, he could do it. If he feels like he could do it and still come back and have the same swing and feeling he has right now, he’ll probably do it.’’

Welcome back

Dealt as part of a three-team trade that brought outfielder Adam Eaton to the Sox, left-hander Hector Santiago is back in town with the Angels.

Santiago was 8-10 in parts of three seasons with the Sox and was expected to solidify the Angels’ rotation, but things haven’t gone to plan. He is 0-7 with a 4.08 ERA and was optioned to Class AAA on
May 21. He returned June 10 and has shown improvement with a 2.30 ERA since.

‘‘I’ve been throwing the ball better than I think I have in my career,’’ Santiago said. ‘‘Of late, it’s been really good.’’

Seeing stars

In All-Star voting totals released Monday, Alexei Ramirez is in second place among AL shortstops, about 600,000 votes behind the Yankees’ Derek Jeter. Abreu is second among AL first basemen, around 1.5 million votes behind the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera.

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