PHOENIX, Ariz. – It’s one of the worst preseason injuries which the franchise has suffered in the past generation, and it came at the worst time.
A torn pectoral tendon has put left fielder Eloy Jimenez out for 5-to-6 months as he likely heads to surgery to fix the injury. That means one of the White Sox best players won’t be on the field till late August, early September before he can take the field.
It’s forced Tony La Russa to to get creative to find a replacement in the outfield for the potential All-Star. On Friday afternoon in Phoenix, he did so with a promising player who looks more and more ready to contribute in a major way to the 2021 club.
La Russa is testing out Andrew Vaughn in left field as the White Sox enter the home stretch of the Cactus League season. The rookie initially was thought to be the team’s first option for the designated hitter spot for Opening Day, but a chance exists for the rookie to fill a major hole in the lineup.
Vaughn was in left field for all nine innings against the Brewers in Phoenix, seeing a few balls hit his way but only one true fly ball. That came in the seventh when Garrett Mitchell flied out to deep left field.
Playing the position is something new for the 2019 first round pick who primariy has played first base in his career. In his 37 minor league games in Winston Salem, Kannapolis, and the Arizona Fall League, Vaughn only played first but did work at third during summer camp in 2020.