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White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez to begin rehab assignment on Friday

by Jordan Lazowski

Get excited, people! The White Sox are one step closer to full strength.

The team announced this morning in a tweet that outfielder Eloy Jimenez will begin his rehab assignment on Friday with the High-A Winston Salem Dash. The roster move was first reported last night by Shane Riordan, executive producer of “The Parkins & Spiegel Show” at 670 The Score.

Jimenez, 24, is recovering from surgery for a ruptured left pectoral tendon. The injury was sustained during a late March spring training game as the left fielder was attempting to rob a home run. When first being diagnosed, the organization set the recovery timeline at five to six months, leading many to believe Eloy would miss a majority of the regular season. That timeframe has since been reduced and the fact that a rehab assignment is starting already means only good things.

During his career with the Sox, Jimenez is hitting .276/.321/.527 with 45 home runs, a .353 wOBA, and a 123 wRC+. He was incredible in 2020, slashing .296/.332/.559 with a .373 wOBA and 140 wRC+. He will add some much-needed power and stability to a White Sox lineup that now routinely features about half of its projected starting lineup to begin the season.

One of the main things that still remains unclear is where exactly the 24-year-old will play. Left field has been held down incredibly well by Andrew Vaughn, and Tony La Russa has mentioned that Eloy could see significant time as the team’s designated hitter. Given Jimenez’s rocky past in the playing field, a move to the DH slot would only make sense.

However, Yasmani Grandal’s return to the catching position will likely be a slow one after his latest injury, meaning the White Sox will likely need to get his bat in the lineup via the designated hitter or first base role. This could present some interesting conversations in the coming weeks and months, albeit a good problem to have.

As we learn more on Eloy’s rehab assignment, we’ll provide further updates here and on Twitter @SoxOn35th.

Featured Photo: White Sox/Twitter

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