It is always a treat to see Chicago White Sox star Eloy Jiménez tear up the Cubs, isn’t it? Spring Training games have never really held any merit, just meant to be a period of time in between the offseason and the regular season for players to shake off any rust. However, there is just something about seeing number 74 glide his red batting gloves through the zone and do some damage against the north siders.
Eloy Jimenez of the Chicago White Sox is always so much fun to watch play.
Excitement was already in the air at Camelback Ranch Monday because Dylan Cease, also a part of the trade that sent Jiménez to the White Sox, was making his first start of the spring.
Cease would get out of the first half of the inning but Cubs pitcher Alec Mills would not find similar success. With one out in the first, Yasmani Grandal hit a single. After back to back walks to José Abreu and Yoán Monada, The Big Baby himself stepped up to the plate, and he only needed one pitch.
Eight of Mills’ previous nine pitches were balls out of the zone which forced Cubs pitching coach Tommy Hottovy to emerge from the dugout and have a chat. Jiménez recognized Mills’ struggles and used them to his advantage. Mills missed his location and served up a beach ball down the middle to Jiménez who split the infield driving the ball to center driving in Grandal and Abreu.
Yes, it is spring training games but Eloy Jiménez got a hit and put the White Sox up 2-0 in the first inning in a game against the Cubs and he was not done. With two outs in the third, Mills walked Abreu. Following that, Moncada reaches on an error after first baseman Matt Duffy misfields the rocket Yoán hit at him.
With his shirt unbuttoned and back pocket hanging out, Jiménez takes an elevated rolling curveball to left-field which drove in Abreu. Jiménez drove in three runs after looking at just two pitches in total in those two at-bats.
When the White Sox finally made the playoffs last season, Jiménez was in no shape to contribute with a right foot strain. He has expressed his disappointment in not being able to help the team when they needed him and he was hurt by it. A big piece of what sent the team to October in 2020 only had two at-bats in the best of three series.
However, the past is in the past and there is no sense in dwelling in it, especially with such a young core that includes Jiménez. So far during this spring, he is batting .276 with a .792 OPS with a home run and four RBIs in nine games. Albeit a small sample size, it is important to see what is shown beyond the box score. It is clear that Jimenez is ready to go.