CLEVELAND — The White Sox were without left fielder Eloy Jimenez for Game 1 of their doubleheader against the Indians Tuesday.
Manager Rick Renteria was back, although he never really was gone. For precautionary reasons, Renteria was tested for the coronavirus Monday after waking up with a slight cough and nasal congestion and was going to miss Monday’s series opener, which was rained out. He tested negative Monday, cleared MLB protocols and was on the field for batting practice in his customary spot behind the batting cage before Game 1 of a doubleheader Tuesday.
Jimenez was not in the lineup two days after leaving the game against the Twins Sunday with light-headedness. He took batting practice Tuesday and is progressing well after crashing into the left field wall on a Twins home run at Guaranteed Rate Field Sunday.
“He’s still day to day,” bench coach Joe McEwing said. “He’s going to go through all activities today: BP, throwing, running. And we’ll see how he feels afterwards and reevaluate after he goes through it.”
Jimenez is not in concussion protocol but is being monitored. He stayed in the game after getting hurt but was taken out after he moved slowly to a ball in the left-center field gap.
Taking it slow with Robert
Luis Robert was off to a 4-for-11 start with a walk and home run in his first series as a major leaguer, but that didn’t alter Renteria’s and bench coach Joe McEwing’s thinking on keeping him in the lower part of the lineup, at least for now.
“Just to feel like he doesn’t have to do more,” McEwing said Tuesday. “Just go out and be Luis Robert and not put the team on his back and try to put the team on his back and give him some extra pressure.”
Robert batted seventh in Game 1, behind left-handed hitting Nicky Delmonico, who entered the game 0-for-9. Delmonico played in place of Jimenez.
Renteria has said that Robert will eventually slot into anywhere in the top five spots in the lineup. When that will be remains to be seen.
“This game is hard enough, and to allow him to sit down at the bottom half of the lineup,” McEwing said. “And I think it gives us tremendous length throughout, and just allows him to ease into it from that perspective. I think it’s going to benefit him down the road.”
This and that
Dylan Cease started Game 1 and Carlos Rodon was slated for Game 2 against the Indians. Lucas Giolito (0-1) starts the season finale Wednesday, opposed by Shane Bieber.
*Dallas Keuchel (Friday), Gio Gonzalez (Saturday) and Cease (Sunday) are the probables for the weekend series against the Royals in Kansas City.
*Renteria was unavailable before the game. McEwing handled the manager’s pregame Zoom call with media.