A week before opening day, the Chicago White Sox found out slugger Eloy Jiménez will be closed down for most of the season.
Jiménez is expected to be sidelined for five to six months after rupturing his left pectoral tendon trying to make a play in the outfield during an exhibition game.
The 24-year-old Jiménez needs surgery to repair the injury, putting his season in jeopardy. General manager Rick Hahn said the team will know more when he begins the rehab process.
“Obviously a difficult loss for us, important part of our offense, and one that is a bit of a shock to the system,” Hahn said Thursday on a video conference call, a day after Jiménez was hurt.
Chicago, coming a playoff appearance and aiming at the AL Central title, opens next Thursday at the Los Angeles Angels.
Jiménez was hurt Wednesday when he tried to make a leaping grab at the wall on Sean Murphy’s solo homer for Oakland. Jiménez’s left arm barely moved as he walked off the field with a trainer.
The injury immediately led to another round of questions about whether Jiménez might be better suited for designated hitter than left field — where he has gotten hurt a couple times since his big league debut in 2019.
“Our biggest concern is Eloy. He’s the guy who’s hurt. He’s the guy that’s got to go through the rehab,” manager Tony La Russa said.