White Sox

Rookie of the month Eloy Jimenez just one of four white-hot White Sox hitters in September

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USA TODAY

Rookie of the month Eloy Jimenez just one of four white-hot White Sox hitters in September

Eloy Jimenez had himself a big final month of the 2019 season.

The White Sox rookie capped his first year in the majors hitting .340/.383/.710 with nine homers and 25 RBIs in September, earning himself AL rookie of the month honors Monday.

That was something really special to see from Jimenez, whose rookie campaign was an up-and-down affair as he dipped his toe into big league waters for the first time. But as the season wound down and Jimenez's bat only heated up, it became clear that a pair of extended stays on the injured list might have had a good deal to do with him finding his footing throughout the year. If he was consistently healthy, there's no telling what sort of consistent success he might have had.

Jimenez finished the season with a .267/.315/.513 slash line and a whopping 31 home runs. Again, had he not missed time with the two injuries — a high ankle sprain and an ulnar nerve contusion, both the result of anything-but-textbook plays in the outfield — he might have soared all the way to the 40-homer mark.

"Fantastic rookie season," manager Rick Renteria said of Jimenez on Sunday. "There are a lot of rookies across the major leagues right now that are exploding onto the scene and doing great things. He's one of them.

"I think the two stints on the IL took some games away from him, but he continued to learn, grow, improve, take the experiences he was gaining. He worked extremely hard on both sides of the ball to try to put himself in a good position.

"Still more work to be done, but certainly has put him in a position where he can help us win ballgames."

As positive a sign for the 2020 season and beyond as Jimenez's September was, he was just one of a quartet of core White Sox hitters who caught fire at the end of the season. Jimenez, Jose Abreu, Tim Anderson and Yoan Moncada combined to slash .353/.400/.612 with 21 homers, 70 RBIs, 78 runs scored and 32 doubles in September.

That group, along with Luis Robert and a potential impact bat added this offseason, are expected to make up the most dangerous part of the White Sox lineup next season, providing plenty of optimism that 2020 could be the year in which the team makes its long-awaited transition from rebuilding to contending.

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Dallas Keuchel frustrated with White Sox' effort in loss to Tigers

Dallas Keuchel frustrated with White Sox' effort in loss to Tigers

Dallas Keuchel took his teammates to task after Monday’s uninspiring 5-1 loss at the hands of the Detroit Tigers.

The White Sox arrived in Detroit in the wee hours Monday morning after losing a hard-fought, extra innings, rain-delayed game vs. the Indians on Sunday, and Keuchel says the team let that carry over into Monday’s game.

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“I would’ve liked to see the team play better tonight,” Keuchel said. “We just came out flat, and I feel like we stayed flat the whole game.

“We’ve got some guys coming out and taking professional at-bats, being professional on the mound, and doing what it takes to win, and we’ve got some guys kinda going through the motions. So, we need to clean a lot of things up.

“If we wanna be in this thing at the end of the season, we’re going to have to start that now. When you have enough talent to potentially win every game it’s very frustrating when you have games like this and it just seems like we were out of it from the get go... Today was one of the first games I've seen subpar play from everybody."

While that is obviously not the assessment fans want to hear from one of the top free agents the White Sox brought in this season, it’s that leadership that the team coveted so much from Keuchel in the first place. Leading is easy during a hot streak, but it’s more important during losing skids. Keuchel seems to understand that’s what the White Sox need as they try to transition from rebuilding team to playoff contenders.

“There’s going to be a lot of learning curves for this team, just because of the process that this team has been under for the last two or three years, and this is one of them. We faced a challenge tonight and hopefully we can come out tomorrow and strap it up and play some White Sox baseball.”

Tuesday’s expected return of Tim Anderson, whose energy has been noticeably missing since he suffered a groin strain on July 31, should help the team regain that spark. As one of the Sox’ most consistent hitters he should also help the sluggish offense, which has only mustered 11 runs over the last six games.

“We have a great opportunity these next couple of games to get some wins and keep moving the wagons forward,” Keuchel said. “As frustrating as it is tonight, we could very well easily come out tomorrow and play like we’re supposed to and then win the series on Wednesday.”


RELATED: White Sox' Luis Robert not feeling pressure of Rookie of the Year hype

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Detroit Tigers' C.J. Cron hit by ball, needs to be helped off field

Detroit Tigers' C.J. Cron hit by ball, needs to be helped off field

A scary scene unfolded during the 4th inning of Monday’s series opener between the White Sox and Tigers.

C.J. Cron needed to be helped off the field after he got hit by a sharp ground ball while fielding at first base.

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Cron lay on the ground for several minutes after the play and limped off the field with the help of Tigers staff.

Amazingly, pitcher Daniel Norris was able to corral the ball and tag out Danny Mendick to end the inning.

Cron has been one of the Tigers’ best power hitters, tied for the team league with four home runs.


RELATED: Aaron Bummer latest to join big White Sox contingent on injured list

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