The more he swings the bat and establishes himself as a prolific major-league hitter, the more fans Jose Abreu figures to accrue.
Manager Robin Ventura is already squarely in Abreu's corner, and he was impressed with the first baseman's 2 home runs in Thursday night's 7-3 win over the Indians in front of 11,116 at U.S. Cellular Field.
Contact information ( * required )
"He's really good," Ventura said after Abreu upped his season totals to 4 homers and 14 RBI in 10 games. "That's the simple fact, he's a good hitter.
"Going around the league, I think you would give the advantage to the pitchers just because you haven't seen him. Eventually there's going to be some going back and forth of trying to figure out how to pitch him. But he's just talented. He hits things hard and when he hits it hard they go a long way, whether it's left field or right field."
Abreu appreciated the kind words from his manager.
"I thank Robin for that comment," he said through a translator. "I don't know about that. But I can tell you I'm just trying to help the team win and trying to do my part."
The Sox looked to be a little distracted by the news of right fielder Avisail Garcia's season-ending shoulder injury early on, falling behind Cleveland 2-0 in the first inning and 3-1 in the third.
But starting pitcher John Danks settled down, while Indians counterpart Danny Salazar set a modern era record by striking out 10 in less than 4 innings.
Thanks to home runs by Abreu and the red-hot Alexei Ramirez (.421) in the second and third innings, Salazar was lifted with two outs in the fifth and the White Sox went on to snap a 14-game losing streak against the Indians.
"We didn't joke about much last year," Danks (1-0) said. "It was a tough year. But we joked we deserved a playoff share from them for basically helping them into the playoffs. That's a good team over there. I put us in an early hole before they even got a chance to hit.
"I've said all along they have no quit. This is a fun team to be on. Those guys are going to play until the last out, and we saw that today. They didn't hang their heads. They just went to work, and fortunately we were able to put up enough runs to let me settle down."
Your what hurts?
Relief pitcher Nate Jones was diagnosed with a strained gluteus muscle in spring training, and that changed to a strained left hip when he landed on the 15-day disabled list last Friday.
On Thursday, general manager Rick Hahn said an MRI taken earlier this week revealed a lower back issue.
"We had mostly mentioned the glute," Hahn said. "The glute was probably radiating from the back issue. He did receive an epidural earlier in the week and he feels much better, which is good."
It's been nearly a month since second baseman Gordon Beckham went down with a strained left oblique, and his return to the Sox' roster remains uncertain.
Beckham played one rehab game with Class AA Birmingham last week and reaggravated the injury.
"There's a chance he returns in the next few days," GM Rick Hahn said. "He was reevaluated by our doctor in Birmingham and we think things are calming down. He's going to start swinging again today and hopefully work his way back into the lineup in the coming days."
Around the horn:
With Jordan Danks up from the minor leagues to replace the injured Avisail Garcia, the White Sox acquired minor-league outfielder Gorkys Hernandez from the Royals. He'll report to Class AAA Charlotte. Hernandez played with the Pirates and Marlins in 2012, batting .192 with 3 home runs and 13 RBI in 70 games ... GM Rick Hahn said injured infielder Jeff Keppinger (shoulder) is playing in extended spring training and working his way toward a minor-league rehab assignment.