White Sox

Eloy Jimenez starting rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte

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USA TODAY

Eloy Jimenez starting rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte

Among a bout of bad news general manager Rick Hahn delivered Monday, he did have one update that should make White Sox fans smile.

Eloy Jimenez is nearing a return from the ugly looking ankle sprain that landed him on the injured list late last month, and he’ll begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte on Tuesday. Hahn said that Jimenez will likely be back within a week, perhaps before the end of the six-game homestand the White Sox started Monday night.

“He is progressing nicely, as we’ve talked about before, and should — knock on wood — everything go smoothly, hopefully be able to activate him by the start of the next road trip against Houston, if not potentially sooner,” Hahn said. “We’ll see how the next week goes.

"He’s going to DH (on Tuesday) for Charlotte. After that he’ll play part of the game in the field and then nine innings in the field and we’ll assess where he’s at then. At the very least he’ll be there Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday before we even consider what’s next for him. It shouldn’t take long."

Jimenez suffered a sprained ankle when he jumped in an attempt to catch a home-run ball in the April 26 game against the Detroit Tigers. His foot stuck in the padding on the outfield wall, and after falling to the ground, he remained on the warning track for quite a while before leaving the field and getting some help into the White Sox clubhouse. In the moment, it sparked “here we go again” feeling for White Sox fans, who have dealt with a lot of significant injuries to the team’s future stars in recent seasons — including more Monday.

Initial fears from the fan base were that Jimenez could miss a month or more, but the White Sox didn’t provide a frightening timeline, saying he’d be reevaluated in two weeks. A little more than two weeks later, Jimenez will begin a rehab stint with eyes on keeping his injury-induced absence to about three weeks’ time.

Jimenez isn’t off to a rip-roaring start in his rookie season, the owner of a .241/.294/.380 slash line and three home runs in his first 21 games in the major leagues. But as the White Sox rebuild rolls on, having Jimenez on the field and in the lineup is critically important to his continued development.

Well, it sounds like he’ll be back on the field and back in the White Sox lineup very soon.

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After homering for his first MLB hit, Zack Collins was 'in shock'

After homering for his first MLB hit, Zack Collins was 'in shock'

The young players that figure to feature heavily in the future of the White Sox have had quite a week.

It started with Lucas Giolito being the first pitcher in the majors to reach 10 wins, then Eloy Jimenez blasted a big go-ahead home run in the ninth inning in his first crosstown game against the Cubs. Now, Zack Collins has added his own blast of optimism to the White Sox young core.

The 24-year-old made his first major league start on Friday in Texas and delivered a three-run home run in his first at-bat. It was his second MLB plate appearance after he drew a pinch-hit walk Wednesday in Wrigley.

After the White Sox beat the Rangers 5-4 in 10 innings, Collins talked to Jason Benetti and Steve Stone on the NBC Sports Chicago broadcast.

“Honestly I was just in shock,” Collins said. “I was running around the bases. It seemed like it lasted like three seconds and I felt myself sprinting around second so I had to slow it down and enjoy the moment, but it was an awesome time.”

Collins finished 1-for-5 with three strikeouts, but that is Collins’ game. He’s going to strikeout a lot and his batting average probably won’t be pretty. He has a career .234 batting average in the minors (.250 in Triple-A Charlotte this year), but he coupled that with a .378 on-base percentage and big power.

In his five trips to the plate on Friday, Collins saw 22 pitches. He’s going to work the count and sometimes he’s going to run into home runs.

“It was smooth,” Collins said. “I just kind of put the ball in play and the ball flew. I really don’t know. It was kind of a blur to me. It was obviously a big moment for me.”

Collins was called up Tuesday morning ahead of the first game against the Cubs. He didn’t play that game, but the pinch-hit walk on Wednesday helped take out some of the nerves.

“On Wednesday night I stepped up, I had a little bit of jitters, had a little bit of butterflies and stuff, but I think that was the point of getting in there on Wednesday and getting all that out,” Collins said. “It felt good tonight.”

Collins still hasn’t played catcher since he got called up. He was the DH in Friday’s lineup. That didn’t stop his dad from being excited about his first start.

“I was pumped,” Collins said of when he saw he was in the lineup. “I immediately texted my dad and told him I was in there. He told me good luck, play hard, do your thing. Obviously it started off well and we got a big win tonight so it was fun.”

As of the postgame interview, Collins didn’t yet have his home run ball. However, it sounded like he was able to make a deal with a fan for it.

“Somebody said they did get the ball,” Collins said. “I think I have to make a little trade with somebody.”

 

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WATCH: Zack Collins hits a three-run homer for his first MLB hit

WATCH: Zack Collins hits a three-run homer for his first MLB hit

Zack Collins started his MLB career in fitting fashion, with a walk.

In his next trip to the plate, he hit a home run.

Collins came on as a pinch-hitter Wednesday at the Cubs and drew that walk. Friday's game at Texas was his first start. The 2016 first-round pick entered the lineup as a DH and batted eighth.

He came up with two on and two out against Rangers starter Ariel Jurado. Collins, as he is known for, took the first three pitches before fouling off a curve on a 2-1 count. Then he took a slider deep to right-center.

Watch Collins' home run in the video above.

Collins is known for three things as a hitter: home runs, walks and strikeouts. Before getting called up from Triple-A Charlotte, Collins was hitting .250/.374/.482. He had nine home runs in 50 games with 36 walks and 66 strikeouts. He was sixth in the International League in walks while playing fewer games due to splitting time at catcher.

In a very short time period, Collins is showing what the White Sox thought they were getting when they drafted him 10th overall in 2016.

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