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We Need To Cut The Shit With Eloy Jimenez Playing Outfield

(SOURCE)

“Last year, when I was DH’ing more than (playing) the outfield, it was because I got surgery. And I understand that,” he said. “But this year, I’ve been working really hard to play the outfield more than DH. So I don’t really think that I’m going to accept it, because if I’m working hard, I’m going to get better, and I want to play in the outfield.”

Let me start by saying this *should* be much adieu about nothing. As it sits right now, the opening day lineup *should* have Andrew Benintendi in LF, Luis Robert in CF, and Oscar Colas in RF. Obviously there is a lot of shaking out to do between now and opening day and of course injuries are always a possibility, especially with this team.

But people are taking Eloy's quotes and freaking the fuck out for multiple reasons, myself included. 

REASON I:

Eloy Jimenez is awful defensively. A person with the IQ of a gnat could watch Eloy play OF and say, "that guy shouldn't be playing OF." Case in point:

REASON II:

The White Sox have shown they will throw guys in the OF who don't belong there. Case in point:

1B Andrew Vaughn has been their starting LF for the last 2 seasons
1B Gavin Sheets has played a lot of RF for the last 2 seasons
DH Eloy Jimenez has played LF the majority of his tenure with the Sox

Sox fans have PTSD about players playing out of position, and for good reason. I personally fall under this category. The sheer mention of Eloy playing OF gives me instant rage, and it's because I know the Sox can make an easy decision by never, ever playing Eloy in the OF unless he absolutely has to... I just don't know that they're going to make that easy decision, and it drives me insane. 

Like I said though - the Sox *should* have a great defensive OF come opening day 2023 with Beni and Colas joining the mix... but that doesn't stop us from thinking that there's a possibility they'll start Colas in AAA to "season" and open the year with Eloy in RF.

I cannot stress this enough: Eloy Jimenez cannot play OF ever again. That doesn't mean I don't love his will and want to play OF - more on this in a moment - but to play him in the OF with any regularity would be organizational negligence. Eloy is a big, brutish, lumbering dude that lacks flexibility and has a body that's wound really, really tight. The more he moves in a "twitchy" fashion necessary for an outfielder, the higher the chance he injures himself and injury prevention is the most important part of the 2023 season. 

It's honestly kinda weird to me; in the OF he's like Bambi on a hockey rink, while at the dish he's as gathered, controlled, and coordinated as anybody. One would think that at least some of his coordination would translate to other parts of the game, but it doesn't.

He's a man that needs to move around as little as possible. Aka he should be DH and focus on dropping dong on baseballs. Period. 

And on the note of Eloy "not accepting" being the DH and people saying he's being a "me first" guy, "not a team player", etc...nope. I happen to love that Eloy isn't accepting it. Hopefully he's working his nutsack off on fixing all the things that lead to those injuries. If he proves me wrong, awesome. 

As a gambling man, I don't see that happening though.