White Sox mum on Eloy Jimenez despite report
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Top prospect Eloy Jimenez will find out Monday if he’ll be promoted to the White Sox or be forced to wait through another winter for his dream to come true.
In the meantime, Jimenez will keep trying to punish baseballs at Class AAA Charlotte as rumors buzz about his future.
A report Friday from USA Today’s Bob Nightengale said the Sox will not promote Jimenez as one of their September call-ups. Nightengale said the Sox are “hardly alone among clubs executing the same strategy” to preserve prospects’ service time.
By delaying Jimenez’s arrival until next April, the Sox could keep him under team control for another full season.
The Sox issued a statement shortly after Nightengale’s report emerged:
“No final decision has been made on the entire list of Chicago White Sox call-ups for September. General manager Rick Hahn plans to meet with the media before the game Monday to discuss the final list after all affected players have been informed of the club’s plans.”
Jimenez, 21, has done everything possible to merit a promotion.
He’s hitting .368 with 12 home runs and 33 RBI in 204 at-bats with the Knights.
He has a .414 on-base percentage and a .613 slugging percentage for an OPS of 1.027.
Jimenez’s agents have said they might file a grievance if he’s not promoted.
Another prospect’s wait ended when the Sox promoted right-handed reliever Ian Hamilton.
Hamilton, 23, was 3-2 with a 1.74 ERA and 22 saves in 43 appearances between Class AA Birmingham and Charlotte. He had 62 strikeouts in 51‰ innings and limited opponents to a .204 batting average.
The Sox drafted Hamilton in the 11th round in 2016 out of Washington State. He has averaged more than a strikeout per inning in 109 career relief appearances in the minors.
“We like him,” manager Rick Renteria said. “Hopefully he’ll be able to help us out a little bit.”
The Sox created a bullpen vacancy for Hamilton by trading left-hander Xavier Cedeno to the Brewers for two low-level prospects.
Cedeno, 32, went 2-0 with a 2.84 ERA and one save in 33 appearances for the Sox. He had 28 strikeouts in 25„ innings.
The Sox acquired outfielder Bryan Connell, 19, and right-hander Johan Dominguez, 22.
Connell hit .239 with seven homers and 24 RBI in 48 games in the Dominican Summer League and Advanced Rookie League.
Dominguez was 3-0 with an ERA of 0.82 in 23 relief appearances in the same circuits, along with a stint in the Arizona League.
Behind the plate
Omar Narvaez has a strained ligament in his finger but should be able to keep playing despite some discomfort, Renteria said.
Fellow catcher Kevan Smith started Friday and batted eighth.
Meanwhile, Welington Castillo has rejoined his teammates but has yet to be activated.
He missed more than three months as he served an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.
Renteria said he would find playing time for all three catchers in the season’s final month.