Eloy Jiménez injury update: White Sox star to rejoin lineup this week for first time since hurting hamstring

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The Chicago White Sox are expecting outfielder Eloy Jiménez to rejoin their lineup on either Wednesday or Thursday, manager Tony La Russa told reporters Tuesday. 

Jiménez, 25 years old, has not played since April 23 after he stumbled running out a grounder and injured his right hamstring. He later required an operation on the tendon in the back of his knee. 

Jiménez had appeared in 11 games prior to the injury, batting .222/.256/.333 (67 OPS+) with one home run in 39 trips to the plate. Those marks are well beneath his established norms as a big-league player. Indeed, he entered the year having posted a career .270/.316/.506 (117 OPS+) slash line over the course of his first three seasons.

During Jiménez’s absence, the White Sox have primarily staffed their outfield corners with veteran AJ Pollock and youngster Gavin Sheets. Neither has performed up to par. Pollock has an 82 OPS+ while Sheets’ mark is marginally better at 90. Jiménez, then, could give the White Sox an offensive boost if he hits the ground running.

It should be noted that Jiménez has appeared in 17 games with the White Sox’s Triple-A affiliate in Charlotte as part of his rehab assignment. He’s batted .246/.318/.351 with two home runs in 63 plate appearances. Of course, the priority of a rehab assignment is to regain one’s timing and feel for the speed of the game, so there’s no sense reading too far into the predictive power of those numbers.

The White Sox came into Tuesday with a 38-40 record this season, placing them 5 1/2 games back in the American League Central. The White Sox have been one of the league’s biggest disappointments thus far, as their minus-39 run differential puts them in company with the Arizona Diamondbacks, among other non-contenders.

The White Sox will continue their three-game series against the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night before heading welcoming the Detroit Tigers to town for four games beginning on Thursday.

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