The White Sox's banged-up outfielders appear to be getting healthy faster than initially expected. Eloy Jiménez went down late in spring training with a torn pectoral muscle and it was feared he might be lost for the season. Entering Monday night, he's seven games into a minor-league rehab assignment and is hitting .296/.345/.556 with a pair of home runs.
Next up, Luis Robert. The center fielder tore a hip flexor muscle on May 3 and it was expected that he would miss 12-16 weeks while recovering. Here we are 11 weeks and one day away and he's set to go out on a minor-league rehab assignment.
Granted he's not nearly as far ahead of schedule as Jiménez, but this is still excellent news for the Pale Hose.
Robert, 23, was hitting .316/.359/.463 (128 OPS+) with nine doubles, a triple, a home run, eight RBI, 11 runs, four steals and 0.8 WAR through 25 games when he was injured.
With Robert out, the White Sox have gotten by with a combination of Billy Hamilton, Leury Garcia, Brian Goodwin and Adam Engel in center field, but none of them come even close to his immense upside. In addition to being a quality hitter with big, raw power, he's an exceptional defender in center with significant range.
As for left field, Andrew Vaughn is probably fine to stay put when Jiménez returns, but the DH spot is open and that's where Jiménez should be coming off an injury he suffered reaching over a wall -- especially with his history of running into things out there.