Chris Sale leads AL final vote; Jose Abreu shuns Home Run Derby
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN Staff Reporter July 8, 2014 9:43PM
Updated: July 9, 2014 2:23AM
BOSTON — White Sox left-hander Chris Sale is leading the American League’s final vote for the All-Star Game, which will be played Tuesday at Target Field in Minneapolis, and first baseman Jose Abreu, who is already on the team, still doesn’t figure to participate in the Home Run Derby the night before.
Sale leads Los Angeles Angels right-hander Garrett Richards, Detroit Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello, Cleveland Indians right-hander Corey Kluber and Houston Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel for the 34th spot on the AL team. Sale, who is scheduled to pitch Wednesday against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, is 8-1 with a 2.16 ERA.
‘‘I can’t believe a pitcher the quality of Chris Sale is not already in the All-Star Game,’’ Abreu said. ‘‘He has the numbers; he obviously has the quality. He’s one of the best pitchers in the major leagues. It’s incredible it’s happening this way, that he’s still having to get votes to get in. He should be a lock.’’
Sale was an All-Star in each of his first two seasons as a starter and was the winning pitcher with two perfect innings in the game last season at Citi Field in New York. He would be pitching on five days of rest if he gets voted to the team and gets into the game.
Meanwhile, Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista, Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones, Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier and Oakland Athletics outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, the defending champion, will represent the AL in the Hone Run Derby, with a fifth participant to be added Thursday.
When Detroit Tigers first base-
man Miguel Cabrera and Angels outfielder Mike Trout backed away from participating early on, any pressure Abreu might have felt to take part was alleviated. The Sox have put no pressure on him to participate, even though having him in the spotlight would be good for the team.
‘‘That’s not a priority right now,’’ Abreu said.
Abreu has been cool to the idea of participating from the beginning because he fears it would mess with his mental approach to hitting.
‘‘You go out and try to hit home runs,’’ he said. ‘‘I’m not a guy who tries to hit home runs; I let them come whenever they come. And sometimes it messes with your mechanics.’’