White Sox slugger Eloy Jiménez set to begin minor-league rehab assignment

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The Chicago White Sox on Thursday announced that slugging outfielder Eloy Jiménez will begin a minor league rehab assignment on Friday with High-A Winston-Salem. 

The 24-year-old has missed the entire 2021 regular season because of a ruptured pectoral tendon he suffered while playing the field during spring training:

Jiménez underwent surgery to repair the injury on March 30.

Minor league rehab assignments can last as long as 30 days, so barring setback Jiménez at the latest will be added to Chicago’s active roster in one month. No doubt, though, Jiménez and the White Sox are hoping for a quicker timeline for his return.  

While defensively Jiménez can best be described as “DH in waiting,” he is a tremendous source of right-handed power at the plate. Jiménez has slugged .527 across parts of two major league seasons, and he’s coming off a 2020 season in which he won a Silver Slugger. He’s crushed 45 home runs in his first 177 big-league games, and he consistently registers some of the highest exit velocities in baseball.

In Jiménez’s absence, the White Sox have struggled to get adequate production from left field. This season, nine different players have spent time in Jiménez’s position, and they’ve combined for a slash line of just .229/.311/.380 with eight home runs in 86 games. 

While the White Sox have a comfortable lead in the lackluster AL Central, they’ve done it despite serious injury concerns. Second baseman Nick Madrigal is out for the remainder of the season with a torn hamstring, catcher Yasmani Grandal could be out until late August with a knee injury that recently required surgery, and there’s still no exact timeline for the return of center fielder Luis Robert, who suffered a serious hip injury in early May. Needless to say, the return of Jiménez’s bat to the lineup when it happens will be a welcome addition for Chicago. 

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