When Justin Marsden woke up Friday morning he was expecting to face the regular competition that comes with pitching in High-A ball. Instead the 24-year-old was greeted by Chicago White Sox superstar Eloy Jimenez when he entered the game in the sixth inning. With two outs and a runner on second base, Jimenez cracked the first pitch he saw from Marsden deep into left field and over the fence for a two-run homer.
“I’m sure when the guys, they hear that, that’ll give them a jolt,” White Sox manager Tony La Russa said upon hearing the news.
It was Eloy Jimenez’s first in-game competition since tearing his left pectoral muscle in spring training. The injury occurred on March 24th and it was initially thought that Jimenez would miss at least four to five months. But with the support of his teammates, specifically Jose Abreu, Jimenez was able to return to the diamond in just under four months.
“It’s been a little bit tough because what happened to me was a week before the season started,” Jimenez explained. “So, it was a little bit tough, because I’ve dealt with a lot of injuries. But at the same time, my guys supported me. For me, that was special. I put in the work because I felt like they had my back.”
Not only is Jimenez back he says he feels better than ever.
“I feel like 110%-let’s say 200%- so I feel pretty normal. I feel like I can finish my swing with one hand, two hands, whatever, and it’s not going to hurt.”
Jimenez was assigned to the White Sox Single-A affiliate the Winston-Salem Dash to begin a rehab stint. His first game back came on July 9th. He was batting third and playing left field. He recorded a base hit in the fifth inning before hitting a homer in the sixth. The following day he went 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. Sunday, he reached in his first three plate appearances on an error, a walk and a base knock.
The Chicago White Sox made another roster transaction with Eloy Jimenez this week.
The White Sox announced on Monday that Jimenez will be transferred to Triple-A Charlotte. His marks another step closer to his return to the White Sox lineup. The last time Jimenez was in Triple-A was in 2019. He played five games and had seven hits, including a home run.
Many fans have speculated where Jimenez will play once he is called back up. In Winston-Salem, he played left field and designated hitter. Considering Jimenez is a valuable asset and he continues to injury himself playing left field, it may be a wise idea to keep him at designated hitter.
Jimenez is not fond of the idea of DHing but with Hamilton and Engels speed, Brian Goodwins’s production, and Andrew Vaughn’s offensive potential, it would be hard to justify putting Jimenez in one of their spots. The White Sox timeline for Jimenez suggests that he should be available at the end of July. Expect to see him suited up against either the Royals or Indians.