Sometimes you’ve got to go back to actually move forward. Hopefully that will be the case for Chicago White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez, who has had a rough few weeks recently. Off the field, his grandmother passed away, and he just recently returned from the Dominican Republic. On the field, he is in a slump, hitting 4 for 23 in his last six games. Sometimes as fans we forget that these professional athletes are humans too. In an interview with MLB.com’s Scott Merkin last month, Merkin asked Jimenez how he stays upbeat all the time. Jimenez replied, “My family. If I talk to my family and I know they are good, I’m always happy.” It’s hard not to root for a guy like that. Hopefully, he will be able to focus more mentally in the upcoming weeks.
Rough Few Weeks for Eloy Jimenez
Adding to the list of turmoil for Jimenez and the White Sox is a high ankle sprain for the rookie outfielder. He was added to the 10-day injured list with that injury on Sunday. The play that led to the injury is every outfielder’s worst nightmare — running into the wall awkwardly. Detroit catcher Grayson Greiner hit a home run to left field. While Jimenez was running for the ball, he got his leg caught up in the left field fence. Early reports are that Jimenez will miss at least two weeks and be re-evaluated then.
Injuries to a team’s best players are part of the game, but it doesn’t come without some shifting around. Relievers Aaron Bummer and Thyago Viera will get the call up from the Triple-A Charlotte Knights. Jose Rodon will make his first start in the outfield, moving from second base to left field. White Sox manager Rick Renteria said, “We worked with (Rondon) a lot in the spring, in specific for the possibility of something like this occurring.” However, Rodon’s transition to the outfield will most likely not be permanent. Yolmer Sanchez will play second base for the Sox now instead of Rodon.
Jimenez is a major piece of the White Sox rebuilding process. He’s slashing .241/.294/.380 in 21 games this season. The best way to improve for him is simply to get more reps. Hopefully, this will be a minor setback for a major comeback for the talented young outfielder. As Matthew McConaughey once so eloquently said, “Sometimes you gotta go back to actually move forward.”
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