The Chicago White Sox stunned the world when they made the Andrew Benintendi move on Friday afternoon. He is coming to the south side of Chicago where he will be the new left fielder. That is great news as they look to bounce back in 2023.
Before this move was made, we knew that Andrew Vaughn wasn't going to be the left fielder anymore. He isn't good at it but he played there due to roster construction issues. If he didn't play out there, he wouldn't have played much at all.
The reason that we know he wasn't going to be out there anymore is the fact that Jose Abreu left to join the Houston Astros. That opens Vaughn's natural position of first base up for him. He is sure to play there for the majority of the 2023 season as long as he is healthy.
As a result, the player on the White Sox that this signing affects the most is Eloy Jimenez. It all but seals his fate in terms of what position he is going to play.
The Chicago White Sox are going to have a better positional mix in 2023.
Jimenez's natural defensive position is also left field. He was okay at it in his early minor league days but he was a disaster out there at the major league level. He also was a big-time injury risk out there so you never wanted to see him out there if they could help it.
He has the chance to be an elite player because of his ability to hit. He has some of the best offensive ability on the team but he keeps getting hurt. He must stay healthy in 2023 to get the most out of him and keeping him out of the outfield is the best way to do that.
This is a player that has claimed to want to play the outfield instead of being a designated hitter because it keeps him more focused on his game. Some of his early career numbers backed that claim up but he put it to rest in the second half of 2022.
To finish last year, he was as good of a hitter as anyone and he did it as the DH. He can play that position just fine and he needs to embrace it. Benintendi is the left fielder now and Jimenez is the DH. They can win a lot of games if everyone is doing their job and he is a big part of it.