White Sox Power Bat Angling To Stay In Team's Outfield Plans

The Chicago White Sox have some talented offensive players. They just need them to stay on the field, in whatever capacity that might be. For slugging outfielder/DH Eloy Jimenez, he's intent on playing the outfield, despite his troubles staying healthy the past couple of seasons. 

According to White Sox beat writer James Fegan, the hulking 6'4" Jimenez lost 25-30 pounds in the offseason, which would bring him down to the 210-215 lb mark, from 240. He's hoping that the quickness he's gained as a result allows him to roam the outfield more easily. "I'm really preparing myself for playing outfield more than DH,” he said recently.

Last season, Jimenez played just 30 games in left field, while DH'ing 50 times in the 84 contests he was able to play, after hamstring surgery.

New manager Pedro Grifol initially indicated that he could see Jimenez playing the field a couple of times a week, but that's not what the slugger has in mind. 

“Last year, when I was DH'ing more than [playing] the outfield, it was because I got surgery. And I understand that,” Jiménez said. “But this year, I've been working really hard to play the outfield more than DH.

“So, I don't really think that I'm going to accept it [DH’ing]. If I'm working hard, I'm going to get better, and I want to play in the outfield.”

Jimenez has been working out in right field during the offseason in preparation, with Andrew Benintendi taking over left field this year, and Luis Robert in center.

He also noted that the lost weight has contributed to a more effortless swing. And that's where he can really help the team.

Jimenez has a career .831 OPS with 71 HR and 211 RBIs in just 316 games over four seasons. Last year, he hit 16 HR with an .858 OPS in 84 games. 

Photo: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports