Eloy's comin' ... to Birmingham.
The White Sox top-ranked prospect will finally see regular-season game action in 2018, with the team announcing Wednesday that Eloy Jimenez will join Double-A Birmingham on Thursday.
There's a ton of excitement over the White Sox impressive collection of young players, but perhaps no prospect has generated the kind of buzz Jimenez has since coming over from the Cubs in last summer's crosstown trade.
No one, though, has been able to see much of Jimenez during this calendar year. Sidelined for a couple weeks during spring training, he only got seven Cactus League at-bats, but he impressed in that short period of time, hitting two home runs and a triple. Then, just before the season started, he suffered a slight injury to his pectoral muscle that he's been working back from since, keeping him out of minor league action.
Jimenez, ranked as the No. 4 prospect in baseball, has hit 43 home runs in four minor league seasons. Before coming over from the Cubs last summer, he hit eight homers in 42 games with Class A Myrtle Beach. He then hit eight more in 29 games with Class A Winston-Salem and three in 18 games with Birmingham.
When Jimenez will reach the South Side is one of the biggest talking points surrounding the White Sox rebuild. But he's got just those 18 games under his belt at the Double-A level, and there's no reason to rush him while the rebuilding White Sox aren't expected to contend for a championship this season. General manager Rick Hahn said multiple times this offseason that a good developmental season for Jimenez could involve him staying in the minor leagues all year.
But Jimenez has also repeatedly talked about being ready for the majors. And if he tears up Double-A and Triple-A the way many White Sox fans expect him to, his big league arrival might not be too far off. Tim will tell, and that time starts Thursday.
It might be a long shot for the White Sox to sign free agent Manny Machado, but here on the White Sox Talk Podcast, we like dark horses. Chuck Garfien, Ryan McGuffey and Vinnie Duber discuss what it would take to bring Machado to the South Side. Plus, is he "the" guy the White Sox are targeting this offseason? Will the Rockies listen to trade offers for Nolan Arenado a year before he reaches free agency? Plus, Chuck talks about a cost-controlled, All-Star on a rebuilding team that could be an answer at third base.
Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:
Mark Buehrle. Jon Garland. Freddy García. José Contreras.
The 2005 White Sox had four consecutive complete games to finish off the 2005 ALCS — Contreras took his turn in Game 5 against the Angels 13 years ago Tuesday. How special was that run of starting pitching to finish that series? Consider the following six statements:
— No team has had more than two complete games in a single postseason, let alone a postseason series, since.
— There has been a grand total of four complete games in 188 postseason games (through Monday) since the beginning of 2016.
— Those 2005 White Sox remain the only team with four complete games in a single LCS (which went to a best-of-seven format in 1985).
— They are the only team since the 1968 Tigers (in the World Series) with at least four complete games in any postseason series.
— They are the only team since the 1956 Yankees (in the World Series) with at least four consecutive complete games in a series. (The Yankees had five in a row: Games 3 through 7.)
— They are the only team since the 1928 Yankees (in the World Series) with at least four consecutive complete-game wins in a series (Games 1 through 4).
Take a moment to look back and appreciate what Don Cooper’s troops were able to accomplish in that series. The way the game is played nowadays, we will never see it again.