The White Sox took a massive blow Thursday when the team announced that left fielder, Eloy Jimenez, would have to undergo surgery for a ruptured pectoral tendon. Jimenez injured his pectoral tendon on Wednesday, attempting to rob a home run in a Spring Training contest against the Oakland Athletics.
Eloy Jimenez’s loss is devastating for the White Sox this season. Chicago’s chance to win the American League Pennant has crumbled because of this injury. Jimenez could return in five to six months, but it will most likely be too late to save Chicago.
The issue that has been evident in Spring Training is young players getting injured from playing hard. Jimenez is a star, and he was going to make the White Sox. In 177 regular-season games, the left fielder has slashed .276/.321/.527 with 45 home runs.
The young players need to learn when it’s time to take it easy, and Jimenez paid the price for trying to rob a home run. Knowing when to go all out is something that young players must learn.
Bryce Harper is a prime example of this fact. Harper was injured a lot when he first entered the show, but this has not been the case in the latter portion of his nine MLB seasons.
Jimenez hopped over the fence with the hope of keeping the ball in the yard when his arm wrapped over the top of the wall. It appeared that Jimenez had injured his leg when he was grimacing in pain on the ground.
When the trainer arrived in the outfield to help Jimenez, it was revealed that the reigning Silver Slugger’s arm was the issue. The White Sox announced the impact of the injury on Thursday, which caused a lot of grief in Chicago’s South Side.
Eloy Jimenez debuted on March 28, 2019, at the age of 22. He played 122 games in his rookie season and started 55 out of 60 in 2020. Jimenez finished in fourth place in the 2019 Rookie of the Year vote.
Even though Jimenez did not win the Rookie of the Year Award, it was apparent that the kid would be special. He proved this belief to be true in 2020, collecting the Silver Slugger Award.
In 2020, Jimenez batted .296/.332/.559 with 14 home runs and 41 RBIs. Jimenez was as complete of a second-year player that you were going to find in the MLB. The only flaw that was apparent with Eloy Jimenez was his strike-out rate.
Although, Jimenez’s 40+ home run bat has negated his 26% strikeout rate over the past two seasons for the White Sox.
What Does This Mean for the White Sox?
Before Eloy Jimenez’s injury, the White Sox were the heavy favorite to win the American League Central. Following Wednesday, this division is wide open for the top teams like the Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians.
The Twins have won the American League Central for the past two seasons, but the ratings showed that this was going to be Chicago’s year.
The White Sox still have the offense to win the division, but they now have less room for error. It appears that Leury Garcia will take over the job in left field.
Garcia has been a role player throughout his eight-year career. He is a career .257 hitter with a .293 on-base percentage.
Is he Eloy Jimenez? No, but the White Sox will have to find other ways to win if they want to take the American League Central, and Garcia is the current solution.
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