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The Curious Case Of Eloy Jimenez Update: Power Through The Pain

Jimenez showed signs of his old self in the White Sox's weekend series against the Guardians.
Eloy Jimenez Chicago White Sox

Photo: MLB.com

Chicago White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez returned from his long injured list stint on July 6. The righty slugger had surgery to repair a torn tendon behind his right knee. Since his activation, the results haven’t been great, but a recent surge has shown an upward trend.

The White Sox have played 17 games since Jimenez returned to the team. Eloy has started in 11 of those contests and had a pinch-hit at-bat in one of them. His usage rate is not unexpected considering the major in-season surgery he underwent. Jimenez himself recently stated that he expects the discomfort to persist for a while. It shouldn't come as a surprise if he continues to get days off throughout the remainder of the season.

Jimenez's season overall, pre- and post-injury, has been disappointing. Eloy is currently slashing .221/.265/.390 with four home runs and 15 RBIs in 23 games. These are below league average numbers and well below the production level he put forth before 2021. His numbers since his return are pedestrian and similar to his April figures.

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The biggest positive sign we have seen thus far is his recent performance in the four-game series against the Guardians. Eloy started three of the four games and pinch hit in the other. In 12 plate appearances, he collected four hits, two of which were solo home runs, and did not walk or strike out. Jimenez produced a slash line of .365/.417/.909. Seven of the 11 balls he put in play clocked in with an exit velocity over 100 MPH with an average of 105.3 MPH. One that just missed the century mark was hit at 98.6 MPH.

A Hopeful Sign

The bad news is that Eloy Jimenez is still not himself, and he even stated his hamstring will likely bother him for a while. The good news is that he hit home runs in back-to-back games as part of an overall solid series against Cleveland. Furthermore, he’s starting to hit the ball hard more consistently, which continues to pay dividends.

Hopefully, these recent trends are a sign of things to come for Jimenez in an important 19-game stretch against teams below .500 for the Chicago White Sox.