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With time and work, Eloy Jimenez can be average outfielder, Renteria says

HOUSTON — Manager Rick Renteria wants to see Eloy Jimenez let it go.

The rookie left fielder seemed to bounce back physically from his first game Monday after coming off the injured list with a high ankle sprain. But he appeared somewhat tentative.

“Everything is great, everything in the training room is good,” Renteria said before the Sox faced the Astros and right-hander Justin Verlander at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday. “So it’s a matter of him pushing through, not being apprehensive. Watching him run to first base yesterday I thought he was a little apprehensive. We talked about that a little bit. But he feels good. He’s going to try to do more.’’

Renteria moved Jimenez up a notch in the lineup to sixth after he was 0-for-4 with a strikeout Monday.

About that defense

On Michael Brantley’s deep fly ball Monday, Jimenez navigated a tricky route to the pocket against the Crawford Boxes but mistimed his jump near the wall as the ball fell for a double, then made a (harmless) off-target throw to the infield, a reminder that he has a long way to go to be a capable everyday defender.

Renteria said working with outfielders coach Daryl Boston and more game experience will get the job done.

“Time will show, as long as he’s committed to work and he trusts himself out there, he’ll at minimum be an average [defensive] outfielder,” Renteria said.

Some scouts view him as a designated hitter, but not Renteria. Not now, anyway.

“I don’t even think of him as a DH,” Renteria said. “That’s not even in the calculus. Is it possible that he can DH every now and then? It’s very possible, but it’s not the calculus in my head nor should it be.”

Jimenez does not see himself as a DH, and wants no part of it.

“No,” he said. “Outfield every day. I don’t like the DH spot.”

Banuelos to test shoulder

Manny Banuelos, whose sore shoulder landed him on the injured list and prompted the Sox to fill his spot with a bullpen day Monday in a 3-0 loss to the Astros, is still a possibility to start Saturday against the Twins. Banuelos played catch Tuesday and will throw a bullpen session Wednesday.

“We have to see where we’re at with Manny [after Wednesday],” Renteria said, “and we’ll make a determination where we stand and decide what we’ll do with that start.”

Banuelos, who has made five starts, is eligible to come off the IL on Saturday, which is listed as TBA. A minor-league call-up or even another bullpen day are possibilities if Banuelos (2-3, 7.26 ERA) can’t go.

Tilson tempo

Since being called up from Class AAA Charottle, outfielder Charlie Tilson has hit safely in 11 of 14 games through Monday, batting .327/.365/.365.

“He’s not going to blow you away with any particular thing, but he gives you a really good at-bat,” Renteria said. “I know a ball got underneath him [for an error Monday], but defensively he’s solid. He’s running very well. He can play the game in all facets. He’s one of those kids we learn to appreciate more as he plays more.’’

Guillen weighs in

Friction between Mets third baseman Todd Frazier and Nationals outfielder Adam Eaton, apparently stemming from an altercation while both were with the Sox in 2016, has been a topic of conversation during a series between the two NL East rivals with both trading barbs on the field and through the media.

Former Sox manager Ozzie Guillen weighed in with some candid comments during the Sox’ pregame show on NBCSCH.

I can say one thing about it,’’ Guillen said. “Eaton, nobody liked you in a White Sox uniform in the clubhouse. OK. That’s what I know. I’m just being honest.’’

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