The White Sox Have An Eloy Jimenez-Sized Problem

Eloy Jimenez has once again started the year struggling with injuries. For the White Sox, refusing to acknowledge the truth can be dangerous.

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 8: Eloy Jimenez #74 of the Chicago White Sox during a game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on September 8, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

Eloy Jimenez and injuries: a combination which will stand the test of time. No fan on the south side of Chicago is shocked when Jimenez wounds himself. The typical baseball fan would probably think he must’ve sacrificed his body to make an important catch or slid into home plate in order to score the winning run.

Nope, this time the culprit was simply running to first base. Left adductor soreness is the word on the streets. It will most likely end up resulting in a trip to the injured list. When it comes to this designated hitter in particular, injury woes continue to torment him and the entire Chicago White Sox organization. 

In order to be a successful big leaguer, health is of the utmost importance when playing 162 games every season. No other professional sport plays even close to that amount of games. Every player knows it takes two to tango when correlating success to health. Ask Byron Buxton, Jacob deGrom, or Giancarlo Stanton. 

There’s a reason myself and so many other Sox fans weren’t excited about Jimenez at the top of the Cactus League hit leaderboard. There’s a reason he has never even been close to eclipsing that 40-homer season so many people know he’s capable of. There’s a reason he symbolizes everything that went wrong with this rebuild.

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The White Sox front office can’t get out of its own way. 

Owner Jerry Reinsdorf is even worse and also a person who can’t seem to accept his own failures.

Eloy Jimenez Cannot Find a Way to Stay Healthy

We all knew this was coming. Jimenez’s going down with an injury was the most predictable thing to happen so far in the 2024 season. The first week of the season is quite early, but nonetheless it was going to happen eventually. Did the front office really expect him to avoid his annual trip to the injured list after all these years?

Since his rookie year in 2019, Jimenez has been nowhere close to playing a full season. In fact, that year netted a total of 122 games, his most ever. The following years resulted in 55, 55, 84, and 120 games played. A player like Jimenez is expected to be an everyday performer at the top of the lineup. Fans have already accepted he is not that type of player.

During the 2023 trade deadline, Miami Marlins executives gave Rick Hahn a choice: Jimenez or Jake Burger. One of them would be headed to Florida in exchange for Jake Eder. 

Needless to say Hahn and company chose poorly by sending Burger, a player who has five more years of club control, down to Miami. Through the first four games of 2024, Burger has driven in seven runs, the same amount as the entire White Sox team. 

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Jimenez will become a free agent after the 2024 season concludes. Shipping off Burger instead will remain one of the worst decisions made by the Chicago front office. This move by Hahn came right before his firing which can only make you wonder what exactly is going on within this flawed organization.

There are so many incorrect paths with which the Sox have gone down but holding onto Jimenez continues to haunt them. 

It’s hard to believe, but since his rookie season, Jimenez has only hit 89 home runs. Don’t quote me on it, but the number of times he’s hit the injured list might be higher.

Now in Jimenez’s sixth season, new general manager Chris Getz expects him to be an everyday player, something that even as a DH is somehow unattainable. It’s just the same thing over and over with these White Sox and it’s hard to feel sorry for them repeatedly making the same mistakes. It’s important to remember the definition of insanity:

“Doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results.”

Many point to the training staff leading to several of these White Sox injuries. Lets put that theory to rest. Every MLB team has a tremendous sports performance staff, it’s not like these guys are any less educated than other team trainers. Plus, every player is responsible for taking care of their own body. If they don’t feel good or need to get a stretch in after lifting or require more rest, that falls on the player.

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If someone like Jimenez is pulling up lame by simply running to first base, shouldn’t we instead label him as a below-average athlete and injury-prone hitter instead of blaming the medical personnel?

If you just look at the ways in which Jimenez gets hurt it’s pretty wild. Dating back to his debut, he’s been placed on the injured list because of his: groin, heel, leg, appendix, hamstring, elbow, ankle, pectoral, knee, adductor, hip, and last but not least, light-headedness.

In the not-so-distant past, Tony La Russa told his players not to run hard and to take it easy on the base paths. To me, it feels like an issue if you can’t trust your own professional athletes to properly hustle on plays.

The White Sox have a 2025 club option over Jimenez. At one point, it would’ve seemed like an insane question to ask, but is there even a point in them picking it up?

At this point the team is in a total rebuild and the moment he becomes healthy again, Getz should pick up the phone and see what he can get for Jimenez. There’s no reason to have him waste away in Chicago while continuing to get hurt and barely play half seasons. Sometimes, a player just needs a change of scenery.

Jimenez is one of those players. This team is obviously going nowhere in the next three-to-five years, so they should not let whatever trade value he has left go to waste just as it did with Tim Anderson. The entire White Sox organization are its own worst enemies. It’s time to switch their losing ways and negative mentality.

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At one point, Jimenez was MLB’s third-ranked prospect with budding talent. Since then, he’s been nothing but a guy who hits a home run every now and then while tripping over his own feet out in left field. When he and Dylan Cease came to the south side in exchange for Jose Quintana, fans couldn’t have been more excited for the potential. Cease delivered, Jimenez did not. 

It’s not crazy to say Jimenez was the most disappointing player a part of this rebuild. Yoan Moncada and Yasmani Grandal sure had their down moments, yes, but Eloy never living up to that stardom will be remembered for a long time by many loyal White Sox fans.