Saturday, May 25, 2024

Eloy Jiménez’s Time With White Sox Likely Nearing End


In a shocking turn of events, Eloy Jiménez is hurt yet again. He started hobbling while running the bases in Toronto the other day and was subsequently placed on the 10-day injured list with a left hamstring strain. It is currently unknown how long he will be sidelined, but given his past, it will likely be for a while. This new hamstring issue is just one of the dozens of physical issues Jiménez has endured throughout his career. 

Jiménez’s Injury History And Subpar Performance

Jiménez’s injury history is longer than a CVS receipt. He has gone on the injured list for virtually every lower-body injury known to man during his career, and he has even injured the same areas multiple times. Jiménez has never played in more than 122 games in a season. He is injured so often that fans expect him to get hurt and are surprised when he is actually on the field.

While injuries are a significant part of Jiménez’s career narrative, they are not the only part of the equation. Jiménez is also in the midst of his worst season from a performance perspective. He is slashing just .231/.288/.381 in 146 plate appearances. His 90 OPS+ means he has been 10% worse than the league-average hitter this season.

Some Reasons For Optimism

A deeper look into Jiménez’s stats paints a more optimistic picture. He is still barreling up the ball and hitting the ball harder than the vast majority of his peers, but the results have not been there so far. Hitting the ball on the ground too much has always been an issue for Jiménez. His 54.1 groundball% is the highest of his career and significantly higher than the MLB average of 44.6%. Given the other limitations of his game, Jiménez needs to be well above average offensively to be a valuable player. That has not been the case.

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Pivotal Season For Jiménez

Before the season started, I wrote about how 2024 is the most critical season of Jiménez’s career. This season is the last guaranteed season of his contract. He had to show something this season to make it logical for the White Sox to pick up his $16.5 million team option for 2025. Unfortunately for Jiménez, it seems unlikely that the team will pick it up. He is not on the field enough to justify that kind of salary, and his recent performance has not been encouraging either. His time in Chicago is likely nearing an end.

Harsh Reality

Some call Jiménez lazy and unprepared and blame him for being unable to stay on the field. I disagree with that perspective. A player cannot reach the highest level of professional sports if they have those traits. To me, it is more that his body cannot hold up physically over an extended period. He is not the first athlete like that and will not be the last. In any case, watching his career progress this way has been very sad to watch. Jiménez is proof that no prospect is guaranteed to be a star, regardless of their prospect rankings and minor league stats.


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Southside Mike
Southside Mike
May 25, 2024 9:58 pm


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