The Chicago White Sox were an incredibly disappointing team in 2022 and Eloy Jimenez getting hurt for a long time was a big reason why. This was the second year in a row that it happened but the second time they weren't able to overcome it.
Now, a plan should be in place to make sure he plays as many games as possible. Most of his injuries did come while playing in the outfield. The one in 2022 came running to first base but that is going to be something they can't try to keep him from doing.
Jimenez will make any money he makes in his career using his bat. He can hit for power and contact as well as anyone in the White Sox organization. To be honest, he has the ceiling of someone who is a top-five hitter in the league.
On Wednesday, Pedro Grifol had some quotes that are a bit concerning. They had him and Andrew Benintendi on the south side to introduce their new left fielder. Obviously, Jimenez was the left fielder of choice before Benintendi but was always getting hurt.
The Chicago White Sox need a lot from Eloy Jimenez's bat in 2023.
Grifol said that he has told Eloy to keep working in the outfield during the off-season, including right field. That is not at all what we want to hear. They should just be strapping him into the role of the designated hitter and never taking him out of it. He could be one of the best.
With Benintendi as the full-time left fielder and Luis Robert in Center, they can implement Oscar Colas as the new right fielder or make another signing this off-season. With Andrew Vaughn taking Jose Abreu's spot at first base, that leaves the DH spot perfectly open for Eloy to take over full-time.
It is good to know that Jimenez is willing to do anything for the team and it is good to know that Grifol is having everybody keep an open mind. However, Jimenez needs to be in the outfield as little as possible.
He proved in 2022 that he can be a DH without losing focus on the game so they should take advantage of it. This doesn't have to be harder than it already is going into 2023.