Following a day off for what Chicago White Sox manager Tony LaRussa considered a needed “break”, Eloy Jimenez returned to the lineup Monday night looking to find his comfort zone at the plate. Jimenez doubled home a run in the third inning for his only hit in four at-bats.
The need for the break was due to a little slump Jimenez has been going through since the calendar turned to September. After returning to the big club on July 26th following a pectoral tendon rupture suffered in spring training, Jimenez wrapped up August hitting .277 with eight homers and 29 runs batted in.
Since then, the left fielder/designated hitter has seen his average drop to .251 with no homers and only two RBI. Additionally, his on-base percentage has gone from .315 to .304 and his slugging dipped from .529 to .443.
Jimenez posted nine multiple-hit games between July 26th and August 24th but has yet to record one since then. He was hot when he returned but as is the case in most situations, pitchers got the book on him and started to work on his weaknesses.
The Chicago White Sox needs a lot from Eloy Jimenez going into the playoffs.
However, there looks to be some light at the end of the tunnel. Over the last six games, Jimenez has recorded a hit in five of them, three of which were doubles. There may be something to his not wanting to be a designated hitter.
He has played 25 games in left field and has put up a .298 batting average compared to a .179 BA in 18 games as the DH. His power comes out when plays the field, having hit six of his eight homers when manning left field.
Perhaps the best way for Jimenez to get himself back on track is to be aggressive early in the at-bat. In Monday’s game, Jimenez hit a one-one pitch into deep right-center for a double. In 22 at-bats with a one-one count, Jimenez is hitting .409 and slugging .818. When the count is 1-0, Jimenez is hitting .417 and slugging a whopping 1.000. All eight of his homers have come within the first three pitches.
One other thing that can help him is to try and relax since the guys around him have been swinging hot bats. Over the last 28 days, Tim Anderson (.286/.324/.371), Yoan Moncada (.315/.419/.438), Jose Abreu (.303/.407/.517), Luis Robert (.358/.422/..625) and Yasmani Grandal (.371/.494/.806) have been on fire. If those guys continue on a pace even close to that, and Jimenez can find his stroke again, this offense will be primed to put up some numbers and, most importantly, wins in the postseason.