José Abreu: “I always look for a way to be positive and gather strength from certain situations.”

José Abreu has had a storied career so far, in fact many experts consider the slugger from Mal Tiempo, Cuba as the best pure hitter to come out of the Serie Nacional, but his teammate Yordan Álvarez might take that title from him before it is all said and done.

This season has been an atypical one for Abreu at the plate. The two-time All-Star is hitting a career low .234 this season and has posted a -1.0 WAR. He is also slashing a dismal .291/.343/.634 also career lows, but has driven in 56 runs, leaving fourth on the club in that category.

In the month of August he is hitting a paltry .100 and was recently put on the IL with a lower lumbar injury that has really hampered his swing. Though we have seen glimpses of a vintage “Pito” Abreu in his first season in the Space City the former league MVP has not done with wood what was expected of him when he was a flashy signing by the Astros during this offseason.

They put you on the injured list recently, is there a tentative return date?

Yes, good afternoon first of all. The date is there: it will be after we return home, in the second game against Seattle. That’s the plan. You know that each person’s body reacts differently to injuries, but so far my body is reacting well to treatment in the place that it was affected. Things are going well and I believe with effort that the training staff has put in I will be in the position to return soon.

How have injuries to Yordan and yourself affected the chemistry between you guys in the lineup?

I think in the end that’s part of the game. All of us who are in the game are exposed to these things happening to us. Regardless, it was very frustrating for me because I hadn’t been on the DL since 2018, but I accept what life and baseball give me. I always look for a way to be positive and gather strength from certain situations, so I can return and be the baseball player that I have always been.

How has playing in a new park this year affected your performance?

I think not, the park has nothing to do with the result. I can not blame anyone for what I have not done on the field. What I have not been able to do as a baseball player in these four and a half months that I have been here is because I have not done the right things personally. If things don’t work out there is no justification, they didn’t work out and that’s it.

Any goal for “Pito” Abreu in the rest of the season?

I think the first goal of all is to continue doing what we are doing, to keep reciprocating the great chemistry within the clubhouse. Regardless of the fact that we are second in the division, believe me that we will continue to push forward, the champion is the champion until we are dethroned. Here we are all focused on finding a way to win every game. That is the plan. Personally, being healthy like I’ve always been in my career is my goal and also finding ways to stay positive so I can the player I’ve always been.

How do you feel playing in a city like Miami with a large population of Cubans?

I am very pleased to play in front of plenty of my countrymen. The people in this city have always been very receptive and respectful to me. That is worth a lot in life and that for me is very important.

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