The White Sox won Wednesday afternoon, 7-5 (box score), against the Tigers. Eloy Jimenez hit his fifth home run of the season and is now slashing .246/.275/.508 on the season. He's 23 years old and has the look of a big-time slugger at the plate, but it's his travails in left field that bring concern.
This happened Wednesday:
Notice how the White Sox's excellent play-by-play man Jason Benetti seems to stress "again" on Eloy falling into the net, followed by analyst Steve Stone saying Eloy might want to take this "out of the equation."
Though the thought of Jimenez becoming a full time designated hitter was met with a "f--k that" (via NBC Chicago) from him this past offseason, his recklessness in left field remains a threat to keeping the young slugger on the field.
Last year, he injured his ankle crashing into the wall in April.
Later, he missed a few weeks after a collision in left-center field:
Earlier this season, he missed a few games after running into the wall on Jake Cave's grand slam:
Later, he gifted Christian Yelich an inside-the-park home run while falling into the net:
He was recently asked about all his injuries in the outfield and said the following (via Chicago Tribune):
"I'm just trying to go play hard," he said. "If you see when I got hurt in the outfield, it was because I tried to do my best and just playing hard. I don't care if I get hurt in the outfield."
That's where someone on the White Sox staff needs to get with him and urge him to start making so-called business decisions. Playing hard and wanting to play hard all the time are great attitude traits to have. Playing smarter, though, would be learning to stop running into things in the outfield. Pulling up to avoid injury isn't playing less hard. It's playing smart. The White Sox are a better team with a healthy Eloy Jimenez in the lineup. He needs to quit running into things in order for that to take place as much as possible moving forward in his career.