White Sox left fielder Eloy Jimenez departed the team’s loss to the Royals on Tuesday with right elbow soreness after a collision with center fielder Charlie Tilson. While the severity of the injury isn’t yet known, Jimenez is “likely” headed to the IL, manager Rick Renteria told Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times and other reporters. He’ll undergo an MRI in the meantime, James Fegan of The Athletic tweets.
An IL stint would be the second of the year for the ballyhooed Jimenez, who suffered a right ankle sprain in late April. That injury cost Jimenez approximately four weeks of action. Since Jimenez returned May 20, he has started all but one of the White Sox’s games in left field.
Considered one of the majors’ elite prospects entering the season, the 22-year-old Jimenez has lived up to the billing at the plate since a rough April and May. The rookie posted a 144 wRC+ in June and has so far mustered a 124 mark in July. Overall, Jimenez has slashed .244/.307/.483 (107 wRC+) with 17 home runs in 267 plate appearances. Jimenez hasn’t been as successful in left, though, with minus-10 Defensive Runs Saved and a minus-2.8 Ultimate Zone Rating.
Thanks in part to Jimenez’s offensive contributions, Chicago was unexpectedly in the AL playoff race not long ago. But reality has set in of late for the White Sox, losers of five straight to begin the second half of the season. They’re now 42-49 and a potentially insurmountable 9 1/2 games out of a wild-card spot. Losing Jimenez isn’t going to help the fading club’s cause.