Eloy has started playing games again to kick off his rehab assignment. The White Sox threw him in High-A ball in Winston-Salem, and he (very predictably) torched the opposing pitchers. After a handful of games with the Dash, he’s taking a big leap and is moving to Charlotte, an incredibly hitter-friendly ballpark.
When Eloy went down with a torn pec in spring training, many initially thought that his 2021 season would be over before it even began. But after attacking his rehab with great conviction, there’s a chance he might see himself back in the White Sox lineup before August rolls around. What an incredible boost that would be to an already deep lineup.
Anderson SS, Moncada 3B, Abreu 1B, Jimenez DH, Goodwin RF, Vaughn LF, Engel CF, Leury 2B, Collins C.
Considering how awesome Goodwin, Vaughn, Engel, and Leury have been for the last month or so, this is a great lineup to put out there until Robert and Yaz are back in the swing of things as well.
Power Is On The Way
One of the more surprising aspects of the White Sox this season is that they aren’t really hitting home runs. At the All-Star Break, they rank 24th in all of baseball with 92 home runs on the year and are ahead of only Kansas City in the American League. When Eloy returns, he should provide a significant boost to that department.
Eloy just may be the best hitter on the team in terms of batting average and power. This team desperately needs a player who is always a threat to put a charge into a ball. Eloy is that guy.
Protecting His Teammates
Last year, we almost exclusively saw Eloy bat behind Jose Abreu. Eloy had a rock-solid year, but it was Abreu who won MVP. A large part of this is because Abreu was able to see a lot of pitches in the zone. Why? Because if there are 2 men on base with 2 outs, you don’t want to walk Abreu to leave the bases loaded for Eloy next at-bat. Pitchers had to attack him. So Abreu was able to drive a lot of balls into the gaps and the stands for reasons like that. Brian Goodwin has been an amazing pickup for the White Sox, but he’s usually the batter behind Abreu, and he’s just not as big of a threat at the plate next to Eloy. That’s not a knock on Goodwin at all, Eloy just has that “light-tower power” that not a lot of players possess. Even when he doesn’t get it on the sweet spot of the bat, it still has a pretty good chance to get out of the yard.
When Eloy comes back, Abreu should benefit greatly from his presence. We should see more home runs from him, plus whatever power numbers Eloy brings. Then you have Andrew Vaughn, who had 2 home runs yesterday and looks like he’s figuring out which pitches he can drive at the big-league level. In short, this team is going to hit a lot more home runs in the 2nd half of the season. Especially when Robert and Yaz come back.
Fans have been counting down the days for Eloy’s return, and it looks like it’s coming a lot sooner than later. And with it, should come a lot more home runs and Sox wins as well.