Spending time on the Injured List, White Sox Top Respect outfielder Eloy Jiménez returns to the lineup should surely help the team’s offense moving forward.
After a nasty collision with the wall against Detroit April 26, Chicago White Sox outfielder Eloy Jiménez was placed on the 10-day injured list. The injury can be seen at the 1:55 mark of the video below.
Many feared the White Sox top prospect would miss more than 10 days upon seeing the injury. Even a day after, Jiménez told Bruce Levine of 670 The Score, that he could not even walk. Fortunately, after that first day, he was able to walk and was placed on the 10-day IL escaping the absence from more games.
On May 14, Jiménez began his minor league rehab assignment with the Charlotte Knights of Triple-A. He played five games, up through May 18. In those five games, he went 7-for-22 with one RBI, three runs scored and struck out five times.
From his Triple-A performance, we can take away two things. One, he needs to be more patient to strike out less which perhaps could lead to drawing more walks. And two, despite the strikeouts, Jiménez is seeing the ball well. Two multi-hit games in five games, not going hitless in any of the games is great news.
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There was a chance that after this high-ankle sprain, Jiménez would take a bit of time to get back into things. And for him, his “back into things” was an already slow start to the season. Before going down, he was batting a mere .229 with an on-base percentage of .281. He drove in only two doubles and struck out 26 times in his first 22 games. These sort of stats are reminiscent to Yoán Moncada’s 2018 numbers.
Through his first 22 games as a White Sox, not counting his eight-game Red Sox stint, Moncada was hitting .205. He did have an OBP of .348 as he drew 14 walks, but he did strike out 31 times. It seems White Sox top prospects struggle during their first season with the team. But if Jiménez does follow the Moncada-path, he should get hot very soon.
Many fans worry the ankle sprain will slow Jiménez’s progress down more than it already has been. As the centerpiece of the rebuild, those fans have the right to worry. But from his five-game rehab assignment, we can see he will get back to hitting the ball, and hard.
Number 74 will be back in left field on Tuesday night against one of the better pitchers in baseball, Justin Verlander. Out of the gate, Jiménez will face very quality top-notch pitching. It will be interesting to see how he responds to the first injury to cost him MLB playing time against former MVP, Cy Young Award winner, seven-time All-Star, and World Series Champion Verlander.