Eloy feeling better, looking to be back in lineup for Game 1
A White Sox offense that's looking to regain its footing is hoping to get a big bat back in time for Game 1 of the playoffs against the Athletics.
Eloy Jimenez missed the three-game series against the Cubs to close out the regular season with a sprained right foot, but the power-hitting left fielder is hoping to be back in the lineup Tuesday afternoon.
"A couple of days ago I didn't think I might play because I couldn't even walk," Jimenez said Monday after working out at Oakland Coliseum. "But today I just ran, and I feel OK for playing. I feel great now, I feel really good that I'm going to be available to help the team."
Jimenez hit .296/.332/.559 and had 14 home runs and 41 RBI over 55 games during the regular season.
"I want to help the team," Jimenez said. "It's going to be my first playoff and I want to be part of the success that we're going to have this year in the playoffs."
While he hasn't been officially cleared to play, Eloy Jimenez might be the Sox's designated hitter in Game 1 to give his sore foot a break.
"Right now I feel like I can go out and do my best, but I don't know what they have in mind," Jimenez said. "I think I'm going to be DH for the first game, but I don't know."
Edwin Encarnacion was the White Sox's regular designated hitter during the season, and he batted a disappointing .157/.250/.377.
If Jimenez is good to go in left field, the Sox could go with James McCann at DH.
"I would not be precluded from making some adjustments in that slot," manager Rick Renteria said. "There are a couple options available to us and we will proceed knowing we will make whatever adjustments we need to in order to continue to put us in the best position possible."
Under the microscope:
Rick Renteria was heavily criticized as the White Sox ended the regular season with seven losses in eighth games.
The spotlight only gets brighter at this time of the year, and Renteria has never managed in the playoffs.
"I don't now if the game changes much," he said. "Maybe the importance of the moment, as there's no tomorrow. You are playing with an understanding that victories are the key to continue to move forward. Every pitch and everything that happens during a ballgame matters. Every position you put yourself in will be scrutinized whether it's a good or a bad move."