CHICAGO — It looks as if Chicago White Sox outfielder Eloy Jiménez may spend a lot of time as designated hitter this year.
Jimenez himself has other plans.
Jimenez, 26, said Monday that he’s getting ready to play more games on the court, especially after Chicago signed Andrew Benintende to a five-year, $75 million contract. The White Sox also have Louis Robert at center, to go along with potential Gavin Sheets and Oscar Colás in the mix at right.
Jimenez was sidelined for two months last season after he underwent surgery in April to repair a torn hamstring behind his right knee. He came back in July and finished a career high 50th in DH – not exactly his favorite opening in the lineup.
And when asked if he would embrace the DH role this year, Jimenez replied, “I don’t know.”
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“Last year, when I was playing more than (playing) on the court, it was because I had surgery. And I understand that,” he said. “But this year, I’ve been working harder to get in the court than DH. So I really don’t think I’m going to accept that, because if I work hard, I’m going to get better, and I want to get in the court.”
Jimenez has ventured into the outfield since making his major league debut with Chicago in 2019. He missed the start of the 2021 season after tearing his left pectoral tendon while trying to make a defensive job during an exhibition game.
But he is still a force at the plate, and his importance to the White Sox is beyond question.
After Jiménez’s return last year, he hit . 305 with 15 homers, 47 RBIs, and . 895 OPS in his last 73 games. He struck out 31 homers during his rookie year in 2019, then batted . 296 with 14 homers and 41 RBI in 55 games during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
Chicago went 81-81 in 2022 and missed the playoffs after reaching the postseason the past two years.
“We just need to be healthy, and that’s the key right now,” Jimenez said. “If we’re healthy, we can do anything because we’re good on paper. But if we don’t play together as a team because of injuries, we wouldn’t, you know? We wouldn’t.”
Angels are out of the market
Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno decided not to sell the team. Moreno announced that he was withdrawing his franchise from the market.
The 76-year-old owner announced his plan to explore selling the team last August, and met interested buyers over the winter.
Moreno said he has unfinished business with the Angels, who haven’t won a playoff game since 2009.
Moreno purchased the franchise in 2003. The Angels currently have the majors’ longest streak with seven consecutive losing seasons and eight consecutive non-playoff seasons.
The Minnesota Twins acquired veteran outfielder Michael A. Taylor from the Kansas City Royals for two relief opportunities.
Taylor should provide depth and defense for Minnesota. 254 with nine home runs and 43 RBIs in 414 batters last season for the Royals. It was his second year with the club after spending his first seven seasons in the league with Washington.
Taylor won the Gold Glove in his Royals debut in 2021. It gave the Twins a third roster player to win the award, joining Byron Buxton and newcomer Joey Gallo.
Trey Mancini plans to move with the Chicago Cubs. He could see time in designated hitter, first base and outfield after completing a two-year contract that could be worth up to $21 million.
Mancini was in Italy’s squad for the World Baseball Classic, but said he decided to stay at Cubs camp so he could spend time with his new teammates.
First baseman Eric Hosmer ended his deal with Chicago on January 13.
Hosmer bats a left-hander and Mancini is a right-handed hitter, so the starter may depend on the pitching match, and there is also a DH role. Or Mancini could spell Ian Happ or Seiya Suzuki on the field.
New Milwaukee Brewers acquisition Brian Anderson hopes he can regain the hitting success he enjoyed earlier in his career now that his shoulder is no longer bothering him.
The Brewers announced Anderson’s signing on Monday without detailed terms. A person close to the situation said the former Miami Marlins third baseman/right fielder received a one-year contract worth $3.5 million and could earn an additional $2 million in performance bonuses.
Anderson said the Brewers have indicated that he will primarily play third base for them while also appearing occasionally in the outfield and first base.