Yoán Moncada is back with the White Sox, and that’s good news when it comes to his ability to be a part of the Opening Day roster.
Moncada was located on the 10-day injured list last Friday, and with no reason or timetable for his return provided by the White Sox, there were legitimate questions as to whether he’d be ready for Opening Day on July 24.
But back in major league camp with a week before the season begins, Moncada could have enough ramp-up time to be ready for the season-opener versus the Minnesota Twins. Whether a week will be enough time remains to be seen and will be one of the biggest questions during the remainder of “Summer Camp.”
Asked how much time Moncada would need to be ready to go, White Sox hitting coach Frank Menechino didn’t suspect the third baseman would require much.
“I don’t know, to be honest with you,” Menechino said last week. “I think 10, 15 at-bats to see where he’s at. And then, probably, I’d say 20 at-bats to get him started in the right direction. As far as days, I don’t know what he’s able to do while he’s not here.
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“Listen, he’s a great athlete, and I think it’s going to be sooner rather than later for him. Once he sees his teammates playing, he’ll want to get in there. And that might not be such a bad thing. If he’s in shape and he’s ready to handle the workload, I think he’ll get in there pretty quick.”
But the truth is that Moncada, should he land on the Opening Day roster, will do so with two weeks fewer of training than the rest of his teammates. Though whether that will make a huge difference or not is unknown at this point.
Moncada broke out in a big way last season, slashing .315/.367/.548 with 25 home runs and 79 RBIs in 132 matches.
He also played a very solid defensive third base in his first season at the position with the White Sox. He emerged as the team’s best all-around player and figures to be the No. 2 hitter in Rick Renteria’s lineup for the majority, if not the entirety, of the 2020 season.
In a shortened, 60-game campaign, any time without Moncada would be potentially costly for a White Sox team looking to make the jump out of rebuilding mode and into contending mode. After the season-opening series versus the Twins, the White Sox take on another division rival, the Cleveland Indians, in a first week of meaningful games.
But now Moncada could very easily be a part of the Opening Day roster and batting second when the season starts in a week at Guaranteed Rate Field.
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