White Sox top prospect Andrew Vaughn will get a chance to help fill Eloy Jimenez's void in left field

Jimenez is set to miss five to six months after rupturing a left pectoral tendon.
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(670 The Score) With news that left fielder Eloy Jimenez is expected to be out for the next five or six months after rupturing his left pectoral tendon, the focus from an on-field perspective shifts to who will fill his void. As it did, the club juggled many emotions.

"Our biggest concern, of course, is Eloy,” manager Tony La Russa said. “We made it clear in that (team) meeting we were concerned about him. We want him to continue to be around as long as possible. As a team, you look at what you have. We have other guys, and it's not going to be an open spot. Someone is going to play out there. We will look at all the pluses.”

The White Sox’s focus Thursday was to initially look internally for replacement options for the offensively gifted Jimenez, who hit 14 homers and posted an .891 OPS in 55 games in the shortened 2020 season. Whether one individual emerges on close to an everyday basis or it will be a platoon situation remains to be seen.

"We have a great family feeling here,” La Russa said. “We are tough enough to deal with it. We have other strengths. None of our opponents are saying, ‘Oh, darn it.’ They will all say, ‘Hang with it.’ So that's what we will do.”

Among the options to fill Jimenez’s void is top prospect Andrew Vaughn, the team’s first-round pick in the 2019 amateur draft. Vaughn, 22, is a first baseman/designated hitter, but he also did some outfield work at the team’s alternate camp in the 2020 season. Vaughn will start in left field when the White Sox face the Brewers in Cactus League play Friday.

During the course of spring training, I talked with the player development people,” La Russa said. “(Coordinator Doug Sisson) said Andrew was very impressive, and we talked about him as an outfielder. They have seen him in the outfield, and I plan on starting him in left field tomorrow. Based on what they say and his athleticism, you will see him out there as much as possible. He spent time in Schaumburg in left field last summer. It's easier for an infielder to move to the outfield. Just looking at angles off the bat, you have more time to react out there.”

The White Sox have several other options as well. Defensive wizard Adam Engel is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury, but he should be back early in the regular season. Speedster Billy Hamilton was recently signed as well and remains a strong defender. Utilityman Leury Garcia also is comfortable playing left field, and Nick Williams has been battling for a roster spot after joining the team in camp on a minor league deal.

“Someone is going to step up,” La Russa said.

You can also rest assured that general manager Rick Hahn and the White Sox front office will scour the waiver wire and free-agent market for external options as well, even if they won’t discuss that much yet.

“Makeup matters,” Hahn said regarding adding an outsider. “We know what this group is made of. It's a strong enough, professional enough, mature group. So I don't think one guy would be capable of derailing that. But that said, anyone who walks through these doors must be committed to the goals that group has for itself.”

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.