Eloy Jimenez exits with left adductor soreness as Sox get swept in first series against Detroit

In just the third game of the season, the injury bug bit Eloy Jimenez.

The oft-injured White Sox slugger, who was serving as the designated hitter Sunday, pulled up lame running to first base on a groundout in the sixth inning of a 3-2 loss to the Tigers, who swept the opening series.

Manager Pedro Grifol said the Sox will see how Jimenez feels Monday and they’re prepared to make a roster move if needed.

Jimenez said in spring training that it was a goal for him, third baseman Yoan Moncada and outfielder Luis Robert Jr. to play 150 games each. Jimenez already could fall behind in that pursuit.

The Sox have seen this story before with Jimenez. The 120 games he played last season—despite dealing with hamstring and groin injuries—were the most Jimenez had played since his rookie season in 2019, which was also his most productive as a major leaguer (31 home runs, 79 RBI).

Jimenez is expected to miss a couple of weeks because of a high ankle sprain. Reliever Nate Jones also was put on the IL.

White Sox left fielder Eloy Jimenez was injured when he collided with center fielder Charlie Tilson on the warning track in the first inning.

Jimenez was injured leaping at the wall on a home run hit by A’s catcher Sean Murphy on Wednesday.

Jimenez experienced discomfort Friday night and was sent to a hospital for further evaluation Saturday morning.

The club recalled infielder Jake Burger from Triple-A Charlotte.

Eloy Jimenez was injured while running out a ground ball.

Jimenez felt tightness in his groin in the Sox’ 5-3 win over the Cubs Tuesday.

Jimenez, who hit into a double play in his only at-bat Sunday, will be further evaluated Monday, the team said.

Jimenez will be further evaluated by team physicians in Chicago before treatment plan put in place

Having been swept by a Tigers team PECOTA projected to miss the playoffs, the timing of Jimenez’s injury is not ideal. The schedule doesn’t let up: The Atlanta Braves come to town on Monday before the team departs for a six-game road trip to Kansas City and Cleveland.

With a lineup lacking power, the Sox weren’t the type of team that typically outperforms projections. Now, without Jimenez, it seems less likely.

Coming off a 101-loss season, the Sox sought to fix their issues and play
on the field by adding veteran defenders to supplement Moncada, Robert and Jimenez.

So far, the defense seems improved, but the trio is once again not going to be healthy at the same time, which has been the story for them.

Out of the three, only Moncada has played at least 100 games multiple times, but even when healthy, they haven’t delivered often enough, considering they’re supposed to be the core of the lineup.

Grifol constantly harped on being sound defensively during spring training because offense can vary. Then, the team traded ace Dylan Cease to the San Diego Padres, leaving the manager with a largely inexperienced rotation. Now, Grifol will potentially navigate a critical 2024 season without one of his most potent hitters.

Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf fired former general manager Rick Hahn and vice president Ken Williams before the 2023 season was over and kept Grifol with two years left on his contract.

In his second year on the job — and with a new general manager in charge — Grifol wants to turn around the Sox, particularly knowing the 0.0% chance PECOTA gave the Sox to make the playoffs.

“I don’t think I even have to go there anymore with these guys,” Grifol told the Sun-Times last week. “It’s actually permeated through that clubhouse pretty good to where I don’t have to touch it. I know it motivates the s— out of me. Zero point zero? That means, why play?”

Depending on Jimenez’s injury, the Sox may have to play without one of their most talented players. How they navigate this stretch could shape their 2024 season and the change that comes with it.

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