CHICAGO – It appears like a Chicago White Sox soccer participant Eloy Jimenez He may spend a whole lot of time as a delegated hitter this 12 months.
Jimenez himself has different plans.
The 26-year-old mentioned Monday that he’s getting ready to play extra video games within the outfield, particularly on the correct aspect, after Chicago signed the left quarterback. Andrew Benintende A contract value $75 million for 5 years. The White Sox have it too Lewis Robert Within the heart, to align with Dry leaves And a valuable prospect Oscar Colas in the correct mix.
Jimenez was sidelined for 2 months final season after present process surgical procedure in April to restore a torn hamstring behind his proper knee. He got here again in July and completed a profession excessive fiftieth in DH – not precisely his favourite opening within the lineup.
When requested if he would embrace the DH position this 12 months, Jimenez replied, “I do not know.”
“Final 12 months, after I was DH’ing over [playing] On the surface, it was as a result of I had surgical procedure. “I perceive that,” he mentioned. However this 12 months, I have been working more durable to hit the sphere greater than DH. So I actually do not suppose I am going to settle for that, as a result of if I work laborious, I am going to get higher, and I wish to play on the sphere.”
Jimenez has ventured into the outfield since making his main league debut with Chicago in 2019. He missed the beginning of the 2021 season after tearing his left pectoral tendon whereas attempting to make a defensive job throughout an exhibition recreation.
However he’s nonetheless a drive on the plate, and his significance to the White Sox is past query.
After Jimenez’s comeback final 12 months, he hit .305 with 15 homers, 47 RBIs, and .895 OPS in his final 73 video games. He struck out 31 homers throughout his rookie 12 months in 2019, then batted . 296 with 14 homers and 41 RBI in 55 video games throughout the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
Chicago went 81-81 in 2022 and missed the playoffs after reaching the postseason the previous two years.
“We simply should be wholesome; that is the important thing proper now,” mentioned Jimenez. “If we’re wholesome, we are able to do something as a result of on paper we’re good. But when we do not play collectively as a workforce due to accidents, we’re not going to, ? We’ll make it occur.”
Jimenez mentioned he has been in “good communication” with Pedro Grifoll since he took over as supervisor of the White Sox in November. When requested about his low season conditioning, Jimenez dismissed the query.
“I will offer you a shock. I am not going to reply proper now,” mentioned Jimenez, who plans to play for the Dominican Republic within the World Baseball Basic. “You will see me in spring coaching.”
Left subject was Jiménez’s solely defensive place in his first 4 years within the main leagues, beginning in 235 video games outright out of 316 league video games. However Benintende has spent most of his profession at left subject, successful the Gold Glove in 2021 with the Kansas Metropolis Royals.
So Jimenez and Grifoll have talked about enjoying him proper, however the 24-year-old Colas is predicted to take a more in-depth have a look at the place in spring coaching after hitting . 314 with 23 homers final 12 months.
Nevertheless, Jimenez has targeted a minimum of a few of his work on studying the best way to play correctly.
“It feels completely different as a result of most connections in left subject do not know the place they are going,” he mentioned. “Proper subject is loads completely different as a result of more often than not each ball hit by a right-handed batter has some backspin. It higher be there.”
Along with the brand new place, Jimenez is getting ready for his first season with out him Jose Abreu After the primary baseman left Chicago for a $58.5 million, three-year contract with the Houston Astros in free company.
Abreu has been a serious determine in Jimenez’s profession.
“It should be just a little bizarre, however that is the enterprise,” Jimenez mentioned. “We have to go forward and play with what we have got.”
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