Yoán Moncada is wobbling, but Romy González is surging

White Sox utility guy Romy González
(Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/USA TODAY Sports)

Watching Yoán Moncada collapse to his back knee after fouling back an Aaron Loup cutter in his final at-bat of the White Sox’s 7-3 victory over the Angels on Tuesday night brought to mind Eloy Jiménez’s first trip to the plate.

Jiménez had runners on second and third with nobody out, and Tyler Anderson didn’t seem especially interested in challenging him when his first pitch changeup tailed well off the plate.

The other three pitches of the plate appearance also weren’t close enough to be considered even borderline strikes, but Jiménez offered at all of them. He swung over another changeup off the plate to even the count, then fouled back a fastball above the zone. Anderson then tried for a putaway changeup off the plate, but he left it up, and Jiménez was able to elevate it to right field for a sac fly that tied the game at 1.

It’s hard to tell if Jiménez expanded the zone because he can succeed outside of it when he’s swinging the bat well, or if it was just another case of a White Sox hitter getting overanxious with runners in scoring position. You can’t tell it from the pitch chart alone.

Eloy Jiménez pitch chart

Specific to this situation was a third option: Moncada was hitting behind Jiménez, and he’d been struggling.

Moncada came into the game 4-for-27 with nine strikeouts over his last eight games, and he had trouble getting his contact off the ground. He was also facing a lefty, and Moncada’s right-handed swing has been hampered for most of the year.

In this light, I wondered in real time whether Jiménez was trying to lure Anderson back within his hitting zone, knowing that a strikeout, popout or other form of useless contact would still allow Moncada to come to the plate and do it himself. But I was going to keep that thought to myself until I saw Moncada take a moment to regroup after a pained swing.

James Fegan relayed after the game that Pedro Grifol noticed Moncada’s discomfort but hadn’t talked to him about it. If Moncada sits today followed by the off day on Thursday, it might not be resolved until the weekend series against Detroit. Elvis Andrus looks like he’s ready to return from his oblique injury, but another guy can help the Sox bridge the gap.

Enter Romy González

If there’s any consolation, Romy González is suddenly one of the White Sox’s most dangerous hitters.

González homered for a third straight game, along with an RBI double that raised his line to .224/232/.463. The on-base percentage is the third-worst of anybody who’s been on the team for longer than a week, but the slugging percentage is the third-highest.

And he’s done just about all of that work over the last two weeks, because he’s hitting .323/.333/.774 since returning from shoulder inflammation on May 13.

It doesn’t seem like anything about González has changed physically, as his stance and approach to the pitch look the same. Fegan mentioned in a recent profile that González’s shoulder had been bothering him since a diving catch on April 18, and while I imagine that didn’t help matters, González’s April performances before and after that moment were basically identical.

This recent run stands out from anything he’s ever done on a major-league field, and when you look at the results underneath the results, he’s drastically reduced the whiffing on fastballs. You can hear the slide whistle when you look at his Statcast page:

Romy González fastball chart

This improvement has coincided with González seeing more fastballs because he’d been so awful at covering the pitch over his last two seasons. Perhaps he’s merely executing the longest of cons, and he’ll crash back to earth when opponents start spamming him with breaking stuff.

But it’s also a reminder that we can’t be anything close to positive about González’s finished form given the whiplash-inducing ups and downs. He went from being left out of all pandemic plans in 2020, to posting an out-of-nowhere 20-20 season in just 78 games at Birmingham in 2021, to losing most of 2022 to leg injuries and tonsillitis, and now he’s covered the entire spectrum over the first two months of 2023. I don’t really have a feel for the guy’s baseline, and even though it wouldn’t be surprising if he ended up a Quad-A utility guy when all is said and done, he shouldn’t have looked as overmatched as he did against simple fastballs, so at least the picture — including the White Sox’s preseason hype — is now starting to make a little more sense.

The way González puts it, he’s just having more fun out there:

“I was putting so much pressure on myself,” Gonzalez said. “I know what I’m capable of. I work extremely hard. I love this game. I love this team. I want to win.

“So I just said, ‘Screw it. Let’s go out there and have fun.’ At the end of the day, it is a game, and that added pressure is not going to help. … Just getting those at-bats every day, it’s huge. It’s vital. Any time you are in there and you can make a difference, it’s worthwhile.”

That’s unsatisfying in a technical sense, but it’s entirely possible that he’s uncluttered his brain enough to find his basic timing and respond to straightforward attacks, and now the actual development of a major-league hitter can begin in earnest.

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It looks like you forgot to mention that the Sox FO managed to turn Jake Marisnick into cash considerations. Just another off-season acquisition that will pay big dividends down the road. Talk to me after the parade, peeps!


Anyone taking bets on which game this upcoming weekend will be remembered as the Jake Marisnick Revenge Game?


I’m so tired of this “core”. I wish they’d all go yesterday. How many times can I a guy wince in agony before you conclude that’s just his normal facial expression?

I know no one else would take you, but please leave, Yoan. Thief.

Right Size Wrong Shape

Stupid jerk, with his bad back.


Sore left hamstring
Left hamstring tightness
Left hamstring tightness
Leg soreness

These are all of the listed injury designations Yoan Moncada has had since he was called up in 2018 (as per Fox Sports, which btw does a great job cataloging injuries for some reason).

Let’s also not forget his “Long-COVID” which marred his 2020 season useless.

Right now, it’s his back. A month from now, it will be his legs, a month after that he’ll foul a ball off his foot, a month after that he’ll be dizzy.

It’s not different than the person you hire at work who has car trouble during their first week. You don’t think anything of it. Then, the next week, they’re sick. Then two weeks later, they chip their front tooth while eating an apple at their desk, then a week later, they have a headache and will be late.

After a while, you just say that it’s always something with some people.

Last edited 3 months ago by JimMargalusBiggestFan

Maybe we can trade 2023 Moncada + cash considerations for 2019 Moncada.

2023 Rick Hahn is clever enough to pull that off, and as we all now know, 2019 Rick Hahn turned out to be an idiot.

Augusto Barojas

It’s not just Moncada. Neither Eloy or Robert has ever played 125 games in a season, and the last time Tim did was 2018. That’s just messed up.

Hopefully Robert will play 130+ this year finally, but still. And their top prospect Montgomery hasn’t played a game yet.


It almost makes you think that a team should get a lot of good players because it appears likely that at least several will be injured at any one time. Perhaps, someone should inform the White Sox.


Waves of talent, baby


Bryce Harper injuries since 2018 per fox sports:
Lower back
Lower back

Maybe we can convince the Phillies it’s always something with some people.


And yet somehow one guy has accumulated nearly 6 additional WAR during that timeframe, while also posting a WRC+ minimum of 124, which Moncada only reached once in his career.

Dumb comparison.


Also, one guy just returned to action in record time following Tommy John surgery.


Do you think Yoan Moncada = Bryce Harper?

As Cirensica

They are clearly in the same realm

As Cirensica

New hitting coach hi-tech framework to improve offense: just have fun. 😜

I am glad that Romy is showing signs of life. I still haven’t changed my opinion that Romy, at best, is a bench player.

Yoan Moncada’s stumble: after watching Moncada for years, I really don’t know if there is a real injury there or this is just Moncada being Moncada. He seems to be always wincing and moaning. I do hope he is OK because we need a full healthy team if we want to dig ourselves out of this hole.

Last edited 3 months ago by As Cirensica

For basketball fans out there: Yoan Moncada is like Anthony Davis. Good defense, inconsistent offense, but more to the point, every time he’s playing I just keep wondering how/when he’ll get hurt.

Last edited 3 months ago by soxygen
Yolmer's gatorade

Romy hitting enough to be a regular would help this roster construction a lot. The dude has legit range at second and rightfield.

Patrick Nolan

I’m keeping my expectations tempered. Since returning, he’s 10K / 1 BB (30.3% K) and I don’t think much materially changes about his trajectory until that ratio fundamentally changes.

This just looks to me like a guy with some pop who’s run into a few, possibly in part because pitchers had no reason not to throw him a few (until now). Hopefully not.

Last edited 3 months ago by Patrick Nolan

He absolutely needs to swing less, but he’s making more contact in the zone than before and the contact he’s making is hard (68% HardHit% since he came back from injury). At the very least, he can hit a MLB fastball which was something he couldn’t really do before.

We’ll see what happens when pitchers start throwing him nothing but junk out of the zone.

Last edited 3 months ago by BenwithVen

They are feed him a steady diet of sliders today. 0-4 with 2Ks


Commonly heard lines in my house are “what’s the matter with Moncada now” followed by “c’mon, you’re all right”