Jon Jay, the forgotten outfielder, will take an important step toward making his White Sox debut soon.
Out since spring training with a groin injury, Jay has been playing consecutive games at extended spring training in Arizona in recent days and was with the Sox Monday to be re-evaluated. A minor league rehab assignment appears close.
”I’m going to get reevaluated here, probably work out with the guys a couple days and see what happens,” Jay said. “Hopefully [a rehab] soon.”
Asked if he is 100 percent, Jay said, “I’m good. I’m dying to go out there and play some baseball, which is what I love to do. We’re definitely taking the right steps.”
Jay, 34, was signed to a one-year, $4 million deal in the offseason. During spring training he was pegged as the Sox Opening Day right fielder and leadoff man before getting injured. The injury affected his hip, low back and groin, and at one point there were concerns it could be a sports hernia.
While not part of the Sox rebuilding scheme, Jay would be an upgrade defensively in an outfield that has been challenged in that regard. He’s also a .285/.352/.378 career hitter.
A friend of Manny Machado and Yonder Alonso, Jay’s signing looked like a measure to entice Machado to the Sox during his free agent process. Not being able to contribute hasn’t been easy, and he’s eager to contribute.
”From a standpoint of ‘things happen,’ I think the older you are, being a veteran, you kind of understand that more,” he said. “But I still have the same passion and love for the game, and I miss being out there with my teammates and competing. That’s the biggest thing.”
”We’ve obviously had some ups and downs, but we’re in a good position right now. There’s a lot of season left, there’s four months left, and a lot of things can happen in that time. So we’ve just got to keep on pushing.”