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Jimenez begins rehab assignment at Triple-A

Rodon injury won't affect 2019 pitching plan, Draft strategy
@scottmerkin
May 14, 2019

CHICAGO -- White Sox left fielder Eloy Jiménez started an injury rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte on Tuesday to complete the final stages of his recovery from a high right ankle sprain he sustained while chasing a Grayson Greiner home run and running into the wall at Guaranteed Rate Field

CHICAGO -- White Sox left fielder Eloy Jiménez started an injury rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte on Tuesday to complete the final stages of his recovery from a high right ankle sprain he sustained while chasing a Grayson Greiner home run and running into the wall at Guaranteed Rate Field on April 26.

MLB Pipeline's No. 3 overall prospect served as the designated hitter on Tuesday and then was to play part of a game in the outfield on Wednesday before a full game in the outfield Thursday. He will be re-evaluated at that point and could return to the White Sox against Toronto this weekend, but it’s more likely to see Jimenez next week in Houston.

“It shouldn’t take long,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. “Keep in mind this is partially making sure he’s obviously fully healed from the ankle injury. But at the same time, between the [injured list] placement and the bereavement list, he’s been away from live pitching for a while. We need to get him his timing back, as well.”

Jimenez has just one at-bat since April 22. The White Sox shouldn’t need to ease him back into the outfield once he returns healthy.

“We expect, more than anything, playing consecutive games after having been down might be more of the issue than worrying about his health,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “It's just one of those things where we'll wait to see how he's doing once he arrives.”

Pitching plan not changing for the White Sox
Dylan Covey and Manny Banuelos will continue to get opportunities at the back end of the White Sox rotation, even with Carlos Rodon now officially having Tommy John surgery on Wednesday and lost for the season.

“Our plan really hasn’t changed thus far in terms of where we are looking,” Hahn said. “First to Covey and Banuelos to see what they do, as well as over the coming weeks and months some internal options within our Minor League system.

“We have had some conversations with other clubs about potential fits. But as will come as no surprise to you, there’s not a great market, not a very fluid market for starting pitching right now.”

Hahn on Draft strategy
Recent Tommy John surgeries for young pitchers such as Rodon, Michael Kopech, Dane Dunning and Zack Burdi certainly won’t force the White Sox to select a pitcher at No. 3 overall in the first round of the 2019 MLB Draft.

“You can't force that,” Hahn said. “You can't say the organization needs pitching. Frankly, all 30 organizations would say they need pitching, and therefore draft according to that.

“We're going to take the best guy at No. 3. We're very excited about what the options are as we head into our meetings here in the coming weeks. We're going to get another premium piece here in the next couple weeks added to the organization, and then excited to see what the scouts have in store as we get deeper into the Draft.”

Burdi could reach the Majors in 2019, while Kopech and Rodon are expected to return to the White Sox in ’20.

They said it
“We're playing good. We're going to continue to keep playing hard and see what happens. We're not worried about other teams. We're going to keep doing us and keep playing hard.” -- Tim Anderson

“I expected to go out and make a statement. I felt like I had to, you know, coming off kind of a tough year at the plate for me.” -- Charlie Tilson, on his strong start to 2019

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.