A terrible blow for Eloy Jimenez, the Chicago White Sox, and baseball as a whole, as a young star is going to miss most, if not all, of this season because he tried to rob a dang Spring Training home run.
Today, the White Sox announced that Jimenez’s injury is quite serious:
Rick Hahn: Eloy Jimenez has suffered a rupture of his left pectoral tendon. Needs to be surgically repaired. 5 to 6 months recovery time needed. #WhiteSox
— Andy_Masur1 (@Andy_Masur1) March 25, 2021
Five to six months would keep Jimenez out through at least August, meaning the best case scenario would have him back sometime in September and/or for the postseason. This is a Schwarber-level injury situation in terms of the timing, if not necessarily the severity. (No, I did not just predict that Jimenez would come back and be the World Series hero …. )
For Jimenez, the injury will cost him a whole lot of time this year, and hopefully no more than that (i.e., lingering effects). He’s only 24 years old, so there’s plenty of time ahead to get right. But this still sucks for him, and it was an unfortunate risk the White Sox were taking by having him in the outfield. When a guy is a poor fit to be out there, you usually just think about the poor performance risk. But this kind of otherwise flukey injury is also a small factor when a guy is simply not great at making appropriate plays on the ball. That isn’t to say Jimenez is to blame for his own injury, of course. You can’t tell a guy to be out there on defense and not “try.”
For the White Sox, collectively, the loss of Jimenez is a fairly significant blow to the offense. They are still relatively loaded on that front – and will add slugger Andrew Vaughn – but Jimenez had already established himself as an impact bat with the upside of a star-level bat. You can’t just lose that and see no drop-off at all. Jimenez’s replacement in left will probably be Adam Engel, who can play solid defense, but whose bat will likely be well below average.
A reminder: Jimenez signed a contract with the White Sox that guaranteed him $43 million before he’d even seen a single big league pitch. It was panned at the time as far too team-friendly given his upside, and maybe that will yet prove to be the case. But when you see injuries pile up, you are reminded that it’s hard to criticize a young player for cashing in life-changing money when he has a chance.
Not good. Eloy exits the game after trying to rob a home run. pic.twitter.com/7rQ0BDbwy7
— White Sox Talk (@NBCSWhiteSox) March 24, 2021