Jose Abreu’s arrival in camp is delayed by additional COVID-19 testing. 3 things we learned at the Chicago White Sox’s 1st full spring training workout.

LaMond Pope, Chicago Tribune
·3 min read

One noticeable player did not participate Monday during the first full-squad workout for the Chicago White Sox.

First baseman Jose Abreu’s arrival was delayed, the team said, “due to additional COVID-19 antibody testing.”

The 2020 American League Most Valuable Player is expected to be in camp Wednesday, the team said.

Here are three more takeaways from Sox camp.

1. The hits keep coming for Tim Anderson, even in batting practice.

Anderson faced Lance Lynn during a live batting practice session and hit a couple of line drives to the outfield.

That’s one way to welcome a new teammate.

“It definitely felt good to get back out there,” Anderson said during a conference call. “I only had like five or six pitches. Definitely good to try to get that timing back, trying not to do too much. Just the first day. Just see a couple of pitches and try to put the barrel on the ball, and I can say today went good so far.”

Anderson won the AL batting title in 2019 and finished second last season. He’s looking to build off that success.

“Continue to keep proving I’m one of the best shortstops in the game,” Anderson said of his personal goals. “Continue to keep leading these guys in the right direction. Be ready every time I step on the field. Come to play every single day.”

There has been plenty of talk about aiming for the World Series, but the Sox know any success starts with a strong showing in the AL Central.

Asked about the Minnesota Twins, who won the division last season by one game, Anderson said: “I guess first, you look at the paper. We are way more athletic than them, and that’s just true facts. At the end of the day, we have to go out and prove it. We have to go out and be dominant.

“But we are going to face them just like every other day. They have the same guys over there. We are motivated and I’m sure they are motivated, and we are going to go head to head and see what happens.”

2. Andrew Vaughn’s hitting impressed Eloy Jimenez.

Jimenez received plenty of buzz heading into the 2019 season. Last spring it was fellow outfielder Luis Robert.

This spring Vaughn is the prospect to watch. The first baseman is in the mix for the open designated hitter spot.

Vaughn, the No. 3 pick in the 2019 draft, hasn’t played above Class A because minor-league baseball was canceled last season due to the coronavirus pandemic. He had an impressive spring training in 2020.

He was in a hitting group Monday that also included Jimenez and Robert. Jimenez liked what he saw.

“Wow, he is a really good player,” Jimenez said. “He is a really good hitter. What can I say? He’s a really good player and a really good human being.”

3. ‘Nervous’ Tony La Russa’s message connects with players.

La Russa began jotting down notes for a message for the first full-squad meeting back when he was hired as manager in late October.

He delivered the address Monday. Asked by a player if he was nervous, La Russa answered, “Yeah.”

“It means that you care and you understand that the unknown is out there, the challenge of the competition,” he said. “I have been nervous every day my entire career, whether it’s the first-day speech, whether it’s a spring training game or a regular-season game, and what I liked last night, what I felt when I got up this morning, it was just another confirmation for me that I’m excited about taking this shot.”

La Russa’s message connected with the players.

“Young guys, old guys alike, we’re really excited to get things going because you can hear his excitement,” outfielder Adam Eaton said.