January 31, 2023
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The Chicago White Sox expects Eloy Jimenez to return to the squad either Wednesday or Thursday, Director Tony La Russa told reporters Tuesday.

Jimenez, 25, has not played since April 23 after he tripped running out of a boxer and injured his right hamstring. Later, he needed to have surgery on the tendon in the back of his knee.

Jimenez had appeared in 11 games before the injury, hitting 222/.256/.333 (67 pts+) with one home run in 39 trips to the plate. Those marks fall well short of his well-established standards as a big-league player. In fact, he entered the year after spreading his career .270/.316/.506 (117 OPS+) over the course of his first three seasons.

During Jimenez’s absence, the White Sox mainly fueled the corners of their court with veteran AJ Pollock and young Gavin Sheets. Neither of them performed at par. Bullock has an 82 OPS+ while Sheets’ score is marginally better at 90. Then Jiménez could give the White Sox an offensive boost if he hits the ground while running.

It’s worth noting that Jiménez made 17 appearances for White Sox affiliate Triple-A in Charlotte as part of his rehab stint. He hit .246/.318/.351 with a two-stroke home run in 63 board appearances. Of course, the priority of the rehabilitation task is to restore a person’s timing and feel the speed of the game, so it does not make sense to read too much into the predictive power of these numbers.

Tuesday’s White Sox came in with a record 38-40 this season, putting them in 5 1/2 games again in the MLS Central. The White Sox had one of the league’s biggest disappointments to date, with a minus 39 running difference in company with the Arizona Diamondbacks, among other non-contenders.

The White Sox will continue their three-game streak against the Minnesota Twins Tuesday night before heading out to welcome the Detroit Tigers into town for four games starting Thursday.

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