After the devastating injury that outfielder Eloy Jimenez suffered, there were many questions surrounding the Chicago White Sox and how they’ll fare during the 2021 season.
Jimenez will miss five to six months after suffering a torn pectoral tendon during a Spring Training contest last week. The timeline would theoretically put him back in action in late August or early September, leaving the 2021 White Sox with a void to fill in the lineup and the clubhouse.
It is no secret that Jimenez is one of the most valuable assets to the South Siders, but his value spans far beyond his on-field performance. His upbeat personality and happy-go-lucky attitude have been key elements of the team’s chemistry over the past two seasons. These are big reasons why veteran first baseman Jose Abreu is taking steps to try to keep Eloy as present as possible despite his absence throughout the year.
During Sunday’s Spring Training game, White Sox TV broadcaster Jason Benetti pointed out that Abreu was rocking a red batting glove in his back pocket, the same style as Jimenez’s regular batting gloves.
When Abreu was asked about it, he explained the meaning behind the gesture.
The reigning American League MVP told MLB.com’s Scott Merkin that it was a nod to Jimenez as he goes through his journey of recovery. He explained that it is a way for Jimenez to be with him on the field during the season as his presence will be missed along with his impactful play. Abreu added that the red glove is a sign of strength; that he aims for it to give him and Jimenez the strength to continue through this adverse situation the White Sox are dealing with.
Furthermore, through interpretation, Abreu explained that the symbolic gesture is to make Eloy feel like he is still with the entire team. When Rick Hahn met with the media, he expressed that he was certain that Eloy was not only disappointed with the injury, but that he would be missing out on the team’s push for the ultimate goal. This is a way for Jimenez to continue being a part of such an exciting White Sox club.
Abreu plans to continue carrying the red gloves throughout the 2021 season until Jimenez can return. This just goes to show how close-knit this group is on the field and in the locker room. It also exemplifies not only how spiritual Abreu is, but how exemplary of a leader he is. While the exclusivity of the red glove belongs to Abreu right now, fans shouldn’t be shocked if other players get involved in the gesture as well.
To some, it may just be a red batting glove tucked into the back pocket of baseball pants, but to the White Sox, it is Eloy Jimenez.