The White Sox’ rebuild continues to be plagued by injuries, with another gasp-inducing play coming Friday.
Top prospect Eloy Jimenez left the Sox’ 12-11 victory against the Tigers with a right ankle sprain.
In the third inning, Jimenez twisted his ankle while scaling the left-field wall at Guaranteed Rate Field to snatch Tigers catcher Grayson Greiner’s home run. As Greiner celebrated his two-run shot, Jimenez laid on the warning track writhing in pain.
After trying to walk off the field under his own power, Jimenez, who returned from the bereavement list before the game, stopped near the third-base line. He wrapped his arms around the shoulders of manager Rick Renteria and trainer Brian Ball, who helped him the rest of the way to the dugout.
“When it happened, I was like, ‘Oh my God. I’m not feeling good,’ ” said Jimenez, who was in a walking boot after the game. “It just felt really painful after like right away.”
Jimenez’s X-rays came back negative. He is expected to be re-evaluated with an MRI on Saturday.
Injuries have been detrimental to the Sox over the last few seasons. Since the Sox launched their rebuild three years ago, at least 10 prospects have had their development hampered by injuries.
Right-handers Michael Kopech, the Sox’ top pitching prospect and second overall, and Dane Dunning, the Sox’ sixth overall prospect, are sidelined this season as they recover from Tommy John surgeries. Kopech had his surgery last fall one month after he made his major-league debut. Meanwhile, Dunning had surgery after lingering elbow pain that shut him down toward the end of 2018 followed him into spring training.
General manager Rick Hahn said before the game that Kopech and Dunning are progressing well and expected to check in with doctors at Guaranteed Rate this week.
Other prospects who have been injured include Zack Burdi (Tommy John surgery), Jake Burger (ruptured Achilles tendon), Luis Robert (sprained thumb), Micker Adolfo (Tommy John surgery), Luis Basabe (broken Hamate bone in hand), Alec Hansen (forearm and shoulder issues) and Ryan Cordell (broken clavicle).
“You can’t control it,” Renteria said. “You deal with it. Everybody deals with it. We’re not a unique situation, it happens across the game of baseball. It just seems right now that [all these injuries] keep happening to us.”
Jimenez’s injury was the low point in what was otherwise an exciting, high-scoring game.
In the seventh, Jose Abreu hit his second home run, but the highlight quickly became a lowlight after a Tigers’ challenge. Abreu was credited with only a single and two RBI rather than a three-run homer because he ran past Tim Anderson at first.
“He kind of shocked me,” said Anderson, who had never seen a situation like that before Friday. “I didn’t expect him to be that far.”
Said Abreu: “It was my mistake. When I hit the ball, I thought it was a regular fly ball to the warning track, and I didn’t see TA. I take full responsibility for that.”
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But no matter, Anderson, who went 4-for-6
with two RBI, got the job done in the ninth with his first career walk-off home run. And of course, he flipped his bat.
“I didn’t even think about it this time,” Anderson said. “I knew I had to do it . . . I did it again so people knew it wasn’t a fluke. I got excited, man. I actually threw a changeup.”