To suggest Jose Abreu is hitting the proverbial "rookie wall" because he has one extra-base hit in August would be overreacting to a small sample size.
Except for the fact that he's the one providing the narrative.
The Chicago White Sox slugger is suffering through the worst slump of his young major-league career, slugging .333 through 14 games this month despite posting strong rates otherwise (.317 average, .407 on-base percentage).
"I don't feel good at the plate now," Abreu told USA TODAY Sports through a translator Saturday. "I've lost my rhythm, but I'm working even harder to regain it. I'm not producing the way I'd like to. That happened to me at times in Cuba too.''
After slugging no less than .552 in any month this year, it's safe to assume Abreu's current struggles are temporary. But the 27-year-old rookie, who has not hit a homer since July 29, acknowledged the season is taking its toll.
We play so many games, you get to a point you want [the season] to end. It's too much, but that's what you have to deal with and you've got to be strong. I've been counting down since the 58th game and we still have  left. Wow. It's not so much that you get tired, but you spend so much time away from your family, and I'm a family guy. I want to be with them.
Compounding matters for Abreu is his fear of flying, a significant issue for a professional athlete required to travel across the country for at least six months of the year.
I'm terrified to be up there, and with all those things that have been happening with planes, that has me really messed up. Every time we get on a plane I say, 'Lord, please hold up this plane. Let it go up and down normally.' It's really hard. I don't like it.
Abreu no longer appears a threat to challenge Mark McGwire's rookie record of 49 homers, but his 31 place him second in the majors behind Miami's Giancarlo Stanton.
Feature photo courtesy of Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports