CLEVELAND — White Sox rookie outfielder Eloy Jimenez is getting closer to a minor-league rehab assignment — indications are it might come as soon as this weekend — as he continues to make a swift recovery from a high ankle sprain.
‘‘I feel like I’m really close, but it doesn’t depend on me,’’ Jimenez said after taking batting practice with his teammates Tuesday at Progressive Field. ‘‘It depends on the team.’’
Jimenez hurt his right ankle when he planted his foot into the wall while giving chase to a home-run ball April 26 at Guaranteed Rate Field. He has been throwing since shortly after the injury, is taking batting practice and has done some running in the outfield. The last test before getting clearance to go to the minors for a few games will be running the bases.
Jimenez said he feels better than he would have expected.
‘‘I feel really good,’’ he said.
Jimenez said he is a little sore from running, but ‘‘it’s nothing I can worry about. It’s going to be there because it was 12 days ago that happened, and I know it’s going to be there. But I feel really good.’’
Manager Rick Renteria, who has played James McCann and Welington Castillo about equally at catcher, is having a hard time ignoring McCann’s offense. Two singles — including one for an RBI — in four at-bats Tuesday raised his average to .359, which would lead the American League with enough plate appearances.
McCann also caught right-hander Ivan Nova for the first time Monday and homered in that game. Nova turned in his best start of the season.
‘‘He sure is swinging the bat well; he’s receiving well,’’ Renteria said. ‘‘That could factor into how I use them, but I certainly need two catchers to go out there and give me a nice job every time they go out there.
‘‘[Castillo] has always been a hitter, as well, so it’s just a matter of [him] getting into a nice groove. Hopefully that starts to happen a little bit as we move forward.’’
Castillo is batting .167.
Left-hander Manny Banuelos retired the first eight Red Sox he faced Saturday, then disaster struck. He allowed nine runs on 10 consecutive hits — and not a cheapie among them — after two outs in the third. Banuelos said he confirmed his suspicion he was tipping pitches.
‘‘I saw some videos, and it was different,’’ Banuelos said. ‘‘And I can say I was kind of tipping some pitches.’’
Banuelos wouldn’t go into detail, only saying it was in his delivery. He worked on it during his bullpen session Monday with pitching coach Don Cooper.
‘‘It was obvious,’’ said Banuelos, whose ERA climbed from 2.70 to 5.96. ‘‘The way they swung the bat the first couple of innings, there was a lot of difference. Just figure something out, forget the outing and get ready for the next one.’’
No Herrera update
Renteria remained vague about reliever Kelvin Herrera’s availability after he left the game Sunday with stiffness in his lower back, but Herrera said he probably would be ready to pitch Wednesday.