The Chicago White Sox were set to enter the 2021 season with one of the most high-powered offenses in all of MLB. The combination of Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert in the outfield was going to be very fun to watch all year long.
Unfortunately for the White Sox and all of baseball, that will have to wait. Jimenez went down with an injury during a Spring game this week when he ran into the outfield wall trying to make a play. Athletic trainers came out to check on him and he was eventually removed from the game. He walked off of the field under his own power.
Losing Jimenez is a huge blow to the Chicago lineup. He crushed 31 homeruns in his 2019 rookie season and slashed .296/.332/.559 with 14 dingers in 2021. He was also crushing the ball during Spring, putting up a slash line of .319/.360/.532 across 50 plate appearances.
The initial report suggested that Jimenez could miss up to 5 months with the injury. White Sox GM Rick Hahn confirmed that it was indeed a ruptured left pectoral tendon and that Jimenez will need surgery. He will be out 5 to 6 months, putting his entire 2021 MLB season in jeopardy.
The White Sox will try to get DH Andrew Vaughn some time out in left field in an effort to replace Jimenez. Vaughn is already making a significant jump in his career by going from Double-A to the big leagues, and learning a new position would present even more of a challenge.
The team has not yet commented on rumors that they could be interested in any number of free-agent outfielders. As of now, Yasiel Puig and Yoenis Cespedes could represent real options for the team to fill in for the injured star. Those two guys could also come at a very low cost if needed.