Eloy Jiménez might return to the lineup for the Chicago White Sox in the New York Mets series

19 July 2023

Chicago White Sox manager Pedro Grifol sensed that Eloy Jiménez wasn’t feeling very optimistic after leaving Sunday’s game with left groin tightness.

“I was like, ‘You never know, let’s see what happens (Monday),’” Grifol said.

Turns out, the designated hitter/outfielder might be back in the lineup sooner than anticipated.

“It’s doing better,” Jiménez said before Tuesday’s game against the New York Mets at Citi Field. “I feel really good. This is not going to be long-term. Maybe tomorrow, maybe the next day, I don’t know.”

Grifol didn’t want to jump the gun after Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Braves, but initially thought “it doesn’t look good for the next four to five days.”

The Sox received better news Monday.

“At first we were a little bit concerned,” Grifol said. “He woke up (Monday) and he felt great. Feels great today. He’s day to day, he’ll be available tonight for a pinch hit if we need him.”

Grifol said it’s possible Jiménez will be in the lineup Wednesday.

“If he’s available, I’m playing him,” Grifol said.

Jiménez suffered the injury in the first inning Sunday at Truist Park. He grounded into a double play to end the inning, and felt something on his final step to first base. Gavin Sheets hit for him in the second inning.

“He was running great (during the weekend series),” Grifol said. “It was that last step over at first base that got him in a little bit of trouble. At first we were not that optimistic. But yesterday when he woke up he felt great compared to what he was feeling before. That was really good news.

“A big guy running around, running at that speed, he can move now. I think we’re going to have to just honor that and see what effort is the right one, just to keep him healthy, on the field.”

The Sox will monitor how often he’ll be available for the right field.

“Whatever it takes to keep him in that batter’s box,” Grifol said.

Jiménez is slashing .269/.313/.463 with 11 doubles, 12 home runs and 40 RBIs in 62 games.

Jiménez noted frustration in some of the mini-setbacks this season like the lower-leg discomfort he experienced in June.

“It’s frustrating, but it is what it is,” Jiménez said. ” We’ve got to do what we can do. It’s something that I can’t control because I try to hustle for my team. It is what it is. Every time I feel good, something happens. But this is part of the game.

“I tried to do everything but you know these things happen. There’s nothing I can do about it. Just keep working.”

Before the game, Grifol provided updates on injured relievers Liam Hendriks and Joe Kelly and starter Mike Clevinger.

Hendriks, who is recovering from right elbow inflammation, had a bullpen session Saturday.

“He threw the ball really good,” Grifol said. “He’s throwing a simulated game tomorrow.”

Kelly has been on the injured list since July 5 with right elbow inflammation.

“There’s a really good possibility he’s back for this series,” Grifol said. “He felt good (throwing on Sunday).”

Grifol said Clevinger, who went on the IL on June 15 with right biceps inflammation, “threw the ball really good” in a bullpen session during the weekend.

“He’s throwing three ups tomorrow, so we’ll see where we go from there,” Grifol said. “Maybe a rehab and then come back. We’ll see. We’ve got to just wait to get through it.”

Sox sign 2 more draft picks, including Downers Grove North’s George Wolkow

The Sox agreed to terms their seventh-round draft pick outfielder George Wolkow and 11th-round pick second baseman Rikuu Nishida, the team announced Tuesday.

Wolkow, 17, hit .363 (37-for-102) with 10 doubles, one triple, seven home runs, 32 RBIs and 49 runs last season at Downers Grove North High School. The 6-foot-7, 240-pound Wolkow hits left-handed and throws right-handed. He was recommended by Sox scout JJ Lally.

Nishida, 22, batted .312 (79-for-253) with 16 doubles, one triple, five home runs, 37 RBIs, 67 runs and 25 stolen bases for Oregon in 2023. Nishida, a native of Osaka, Japan, bats left-handed and throws right-handed. He was recommended by Sox scout Josh Krstulovich.

The Sox have signed 19 of 20 picks from the 2023 draft.


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