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Health could be what crushes the 2021 Chicago White Sox’s season of great promise.
With emerging star outfielder Eloy Jimenez being out for five to six months with a torn pectoral, his injury may have exposed a potential Achilles heel for the contending 2021 Chicago White Sox: Their overall health.
The White Sox arrived a year early in 2020. While ownership and the front office thought the team was a year away, Chicago took advantage of a shortened season and qualified for the postseason, albeit in an expanded field. Now that owner Jerry Reinsdorf hired former skipper and hall-of-famer Tony La Russa to manage his ball-club, the White Sox are all-in on 2021. Health could stop them.
The Chicago White Sox cannot afford to lose any more star players
Chicago will have to deal with Jimenez out of the lineup for the better part of the year. However, the White Sox do not have the pitching staff to sustain more injuries to key position players. They must do whatever it takes to keep guys like Jose Abreu, Tim Anderson and Yoan Moncada healthy. If they miss any significant time, this could be an issue for the White Sox’s quest to win the AL.
The White Sox are seen as the most formidable challenger in the American League to the New York Yankees. Of course, the South Siders must first win the AL Central and do so with conviction. Because the Cleveland Indians and the Minnesota Twins will field postseason-caliber teams too, the White Sox do not have the luxury to not be at close to full strength for any extended stretch.
If the White Sox cannot stay healthy throughout 2021, they could miss the postseason entirely.