White Sox’s Eloy Jiménez expected to make season debut Monday after missing four months with injury


The first-place White Sox are about to get a power boost. Young slugger Eloy Jiménez will join the team in Kansas City on Monday and is expected to be in the starting lineup, manager Tony La Russa told reporters on Sunday (including The Athletic’s James Fegan). 

If we could go back to April and tell ourselves Jiménez would be returning before August, it would be a surprise. Jiménez tore his left pectoral tendon in late March and the prognosis was that he’d miss five to six months of action. The expectation was that he’d likely miss almost the entire season or possibly come back for part of September in hopes of getting up to game speed for the playoffs. 

Instead, Jiménez made an astoundingly quick recovery and has 12 games of a minor-league rehab assignment under his belt. During those 12 games, he’s hit .289/.327/.467 with two doubles and two homers. He has a nine-game hitting streak in Triple-A. 

Jiménez, 24, has played 177 games in his MLB career. He’s hit .276/.321/.527 (122 OPS+) with 32 doubles, 45 homers and 120 RBI. The White Sox enter Sunday’s game fifth in the AL in batting average, second in on-base percentage and sixth in slugging percentage. They are also 14th of 15 AL teams in home runs. Jiménez will move the needle there and make the offense that much more well-rounded. 

The White Sox are still without injureed outfielder Luis Robert, though he’s also on the comeback trail. Yasmani Grandal is also out long-term, but he should be back at some point before the postseason. They won’t be getting Nick Madrigal back this season, but they are slowly getting closer to full strength. 

The White Sox brought an MLB-best nine-game lead in their division into Sunday. 

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