Yoán Moncada looks healthier, but big picture remains stagnant

Yoán Moncada, Tim Anderson and Luis Robert Jr. of the White Sox
(Photo by Matt Kartozian/USA TODAY Sports)

Don’t look now, but Yoán Moncada is hitting.

Perhaps he’s hitting because nobody’s looking, but regardless: Moncada’s raking at .356/.398/.586 over his last 25 games. He hasn’t had a stretch like this since the first half of the 2021 season, when his OPS hovered around 1.000 over a 25-game stretch between May and June, and that was the the last time he was a valuable contributor.

He’s homered in consecutive games, one from each side of the plate. You might argue that one of those homers came off Brady Singer and another off Jordan Lyles, part of a larger trend of Moncada facing mostly bad teams during this time.

The counterpoint is that when he’s broken, he’d struggle to turn around a first pitch from Sister Jean. Right now, it appears that he’s in adequate working order …

It’s a reminder that Moncada can still be an above-average MLB regular when his body cooperates, even if the $24.8 million salary he’s owed next season reminds everybody that the Sox expected an impact player for 140-plus games.

We should watch Moncada — or at least follow Moncada, for those who have tuned out — over the remaining 22 games to see if he can bulk up this sample any further. If his hot three, four weeks turns into a hot quarter of the season … well, the Sox will still be in the position of having to rely on the unreliable, so nothing changes all that much in terms of the product.

When you look at what the White Sox’s 2024 lineup looks like with even a vibrant Moncada, it’s hard to see how Chris Getz can hit the ground running no matter how impatient Jerry Reinsdorf gets:

  • C: ???
  • 1B: Andrew Vaughn
  • 2B: ???
  • SS: ???
  • 3B: Yoán Moncada
  • LF: Andrew Benintendi
  • CF: Luis Robert Jr.
  • RF: ???
  • DH: Eloy Jiménez

What’s worse, the actual identifiable players aren’t even a core. There’s Luis Robert Jr., and the rest are average guys who can’t be expected to produce enough to mask weaknesses elsewhere.

Yet I’m still watching to see how Moncada wraps up his year, because his progress (or lack thereof) from one season to another might help us understand whether anything is different about the White Sox’s training staff and lines of communication.

Moncada sounds like he’s open to new ideas …

“Honestly, I just need to find a different way to do things in my preparation,” said Moncada through interpreter Billy Russo. “That’s something I have to figure out during the offseason. Try to do new things that can help me to stay healthy. That’s basically where I stand.”

… but that also should be something the White Sox are helping him figure out now, and not for the offseason. Jerry Reinsdorf says there’s a new sheriff in town:

“One of the things we’re doing this year that’s a little different — every year we send players home with a plan, ‘This is what you gotta do.’ What we’re going to add this year is, we’re going to police these plans. We’re going to make sure the players are following their plans, so when they come to spring training, they’re ready. We’re not going to take their word that they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing.”

There’s no reason to believe this will unfold the way Reinsdorf envisions it, but Moncada provides a decent test case for whether the Sox can effect any kind of change at the training level. He should be motivated to try anything, the White Sox allegedly have a clearer hierarchy to make that happen. Will anything change?

I’d guess “probably not,” because even if the White Sox didn’t have all their inherent problems, Moncada is dealing with a back injury, and those are fickle. For those still following the White Sox, there’s no choice but to wait and see. He’s guaranteed $29.8 million over the next season-plus when including the buyout, and that won’t have trade value unless he carries this hot streak well into the 2024 season. He remains a player to wait out, but let’s see if anybody learns anything while waiting.

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Moncada is the X-factor for this team. If he can figure out a way to stay healthy, he could still be a very good player. He’s still only 28 and can be a 3-5 WAR player if he remains healthy. Of course, that is a very big IF. And someone needs to get a hold of Eloy and teach him how to hit the ball in the air. A productive 3-4-5 of Robert-Eloy-Moncada would be very helpful. Assuming Benintendi is in the 2 slot and Vaughn 6th, those 5 positions should be set. Now, about those other 4 slots…and the pitching staff…and the bench…and the manager…and the coaching staff…and the GM. Unless Getz is a genius and Jerry allows him to spend, next year looks very rough.


Until we know some more, I go:

LF Beni3B YoanCF RobertDH Eloy1B Vaughn
Hell, I go to this right now. Drop TA to 6th. 7-9 is “the kids” (Sosa, Colas, and Lee)

Last edited 14 days ago by Wayne

Personally think all those dudes need a change of scenery and could benefit from going to clubs with standards. Maybe they turn it around next year, but this same group has looked checked out and tells everything I need to know about the direction: more of the same in 2024 and beyond


Moncada has no guaranteed money for 2025. One wonders whether he will be more motivated this offseason, and during the 2024 season. Not that extra motivation equals good health.

As Cirensica

He has made about 100 M already. Sometimes players “check-out” a little when they are set financially for life.


I know. I would like to see the Sox move on from Moncada. I’m skeptical that they will, however, so the best-case scenario is him wanting another contract and playing better next season to try to earn one.


Sure he wants another contract, that doesn’t mean it has anything to do with us. I see no way where we pickup his $25 mil option for 2025 and I see little reason in bringing him back after declining it.


Oh, he’s definitely gone after next season, if not before. It’s just a matter of what kind of player he will be in 2024.


With an apology for saying something positive, he’s also a fantastic third baseman, even when playing through injuries. I think that it has been a mistake to let him switch hit while injured. I wonder if he wouldn’t have been better off sticking to being a lefty.

Greg Nix

Platooning him might not be a bad idea in general. He’s usually better against righties, and it might help him stay healthy if he’s only playing 4-5 times a week. Better to have him productive for 125 games than shitty/hurt for 145.

Not that I expect the Sox would be creative enough to execute this strategy.


For several years I’ve advocated trading Moncada, a player I like, because he could have returned pieces for the next wave and he was going to start costing more. This is what teams like the Rays do. The problem I’d always run into was the lineup balance. Trading a switch-hitter made achieving a better balance just that much harder. Then this past winter his value had tanked, so they had little choice but to hope for a rebound.

I haven’t looked at which teams need third base help, but if Yoan continues to hit this month, I could see some teams dealing for him. Dodgers? Yankees? I don’t know.

As Cirensica

Even if Moncada finishes the season on a high note, his trade value is zero (or negative). Almost 30 million guaranteed money next year alone is Mookie Betts money territory. Nobody in his right mind will pay that.


I disagree. I’m stating a minority view here that is contingent on Moncada finishing the season the same way he’s hit for the last month. I think if there’s a team with a hole at third, on the edge of contention or better, with a belief in their own training staff and team culture, and a willingness to spend in order to win, I can see them viewing Moncada as their own Terry Pendleton.

Now, I haven’t looked over rosters to find a team that fits. Perhaps it doesn’t exist. Getz might have to get creative in structuring a deal, and by that I don’t mean paying just to have him go away. And a team that believes in their ability to keep Moncada productive would be looking at him not as 1/$30M but 2/$50, a problem solved for 2 years.

Time will tell. If the Sox genuinely believe they’re going for it in 2024, they’ll keep him, rendering my opinion and yours moot.

As Cirensica

 I think if there’s a team with a hole at third, on the edge of contention or better, with a belief in their own training staff and team culture, and a willingness to spend in order to win, I can see them viewing Moncada as their own Terry Pendleton.

If a team needs a 3B, I guarantee you that they won’t fork 30 million for a player that’s not name Manny Machado or Alex Bregman or Jose Ramirez or Austin Riley.


Also, if the hole is 3B, Matt Chapman and Jeimer Candelario can be signed for just dollars, no prospect capital.


Moncada could have the best last 3 weeks of the season that any player has ever had and I guarantee you there is not even 1 team that would pay him what the Sox are on the hook for with him for next year.


There is absolutely no way on this earth that Eloy should be on the team next year. If Getz is serious abouy changing the culture of the team, you trade all moveable parts of the core, Eloy should have been traded two years ago when he still had promise but his problems were obvious to most Sox fans.Moncada is probably untradeable but can’t hurt to try. I personally would deal Robert, who has no functional impact with the fans or the city-but understand that is not practical. And if someone could be made interested in Benitendi-one of the worse FA signings ever by the Sox, go for it. But none of this will ever happen and we will repeat in 2024 the same misery we have experienced for the last 2-1/2 seasons, until the eventual sale happens.


No team trades all its “best” players. If anything the Sox may trade one of the five players Jim has penciled in the lineup. Plus, their value is so low, you would have to pay someone to take Moncada, Eloy or Benintendi off your hands. They need a manager/GM who will hold these players to a standard that they have never been held to since being with the Sox. I still don’t think the problem is the players- it’s the rot that is in the FO, from Jerry down to Grifol. I really don’t think it matters who the players are. This FO just drags everyone down.


If Benintendi’s contract was with any normal team it would be fine and just about what you expected. Solid defense in LF, a .270 – .280 hitter and now that his hand injury from last year surgery seems better, he’s shown a little more power in second half. We’re one of very few franchisees that haven’t paid a free agent $100m so the expectation by fans was unrealistic.


And he still leads the team in OBP.


Moncada is the position player version of Rodon in that if he’s healthy, you’ve really got something. I’ve always been bullish on Moncada, but the writing is on the wall, he’s someone that you can’t significantly invest in because he’s way too unreliable due to his health. He may start mashing, but at some point he’ll cough wrong or something and then be an liability for months. It’s a shame.


As someone with herniated discs, I know this from experience: Moncada is always one cough away from the emergency room.

Back problems don’t ever really go away. And sometimes even the slightest thing lands you in the hospital.

Last edited 14 days ago by soxygen

Since he’s going to be here anyways, he might as well be good.

As Cirensica

Best approach on this. Agreed.


I’m imagining a spying Jerry looking over a fence, a la Wilson from Home Improvement.

King Joffrey

If those positional projections for 2024 had been made last April 1, I think they would have been exactly the same except this one:
‘SS: ???’

As Cirensica

And that’s why Hahn and KW lost their jobs


The big question going into the off season is what is the evaluation on Montgomery. Can he stick in the MI or does he have to go to 3B. If he has to go to 3B then he’s loses a not insignificant amount of value and is no longer an untouchable. If he can stay in the Middle Infield then the focus should shift to 3B. Offer Chapman a Yaz level contract 4/$75 and move Moncada over to 2B for 2024.
Then look at RF, Offer the same contract, 4/$75 to Teoscar Hernandez and make Colas your 4th OF.
Are those contracts good enough? I think they’re close, neither guy is a bankbuster or a long termer. Those are pricey but not uncharted territory for JR.
Then you have your 3 big questions, TA, Eloy, and Vaughn. I think they are big questions because there’s no ready replacement in house for them or on the FA market. There are very valid reasons for getting rid of each one but if you do then you need to come up with a replacement. If you think Montgomery can stick at SS then keeping TA one more year makes a lot of sense unless you think his clubhouse demeanor is no longer tolerable. Could you get a 1B prospect for Eloy? A package like that that doesn’t seem unreasonable. All in all, I guess I’d be somewhat disappointed if all 3 were back but it would depend on who the replacements would be. That leaves C and you’re either going to overpay for a Mitch Carver or struggle with internal options.

For SP, hope you can get Flaherty and maybe Montas on JR friendly contracts and hope for the best.

Next year is going to cost JR money, tough shit that’s his fault, but even then what I mentioned above wouldn’t cost more than he wasted on this years team.


Re: Moncada moving from 3B to 2B. Playing 3B is the one thing at which Moncada has been consistently excellent. If they keep him around, he should be at 3B. You could still sign Chapman, platoon him with Moncada, and put Chapman at DH the other days.


I consider Moncada a sinkhole, Chapman is the much better 3B and for $30 Mil Moncada can play 2B. Sure you can use him at 3B when needed but he offers nothing over his replacement.

As Cirensica

A month ago, I advocated for exercising Tim Anderson’s option, but today, I don’t think that’s a good idea. I think Tim Anderson will never be a 14 M SS anymore. his defense has plummeted (he wasn’t that great before). His attitude could be an unwanted distraction for a 2024 team that needs everything perfect to be able to contend. I am convinced that Elvis Andrus for 3M would be better than TA for 14M. Having said that, I am not advocating for the team to sign Andrus, but rather to let TA go.


I’m not advocating for Andrus either, but I appreciate that he plays hard, his head isn’t up his ass, and he seems to try to hold teammates accountable. Next year’s team needs some players who can bring all that.

As Cirensica

Colson Montgomery should be called up at some point next year. That’s another reason Tim Anderson shouldn’t be around.


No way. He’s still a kid that needs time to develop. You rush him to the majors and he becomes another Andrew Vaughn. We’ve seen the last FO rush guys, how’d that turn out?

As Cirensica

Most prospects outlets have an ETA of 2024 for Colson.


FWIW ZiPS forecasts a -0.1 WAR season for Colson in 2024. I’m confident he’ll force his way to the majors next season, but I wouldn’t expect him to be a positive contributor.


Yes end of 2024.


You mean “leadership “?

As Cirensica

Maybe player-manager?!?


I’d like to see them fire Grifol this afternoon and install Andrus as interim player-manager for the rest of the year. Then they can do a full search in October/November.


I’m not kidding when I say that’s the best idea that I’ve ever seen on this board. It would make the rest of the season exciting and make them relevant in the MLB for a few weeks. If they went 13-9 or better, hire him for next year and see how much more attractive that they would be to FA’s. I have to think that playing for Grifol has got to a big check in the negative column. Word around the league has to have gotten out that he doesn’t know what he’s doing.


I agree with that too. Elvis is one of the few players out there showing fire and passion. The players respect him and he seems to be a really good teammate.

Root Cause

October AND November? He is already on Jerry’s Jitterbug speed dial list.

Right Size Wrong Shape

I think his head was up his butt plenty for the first 5 months of the season.


I don’t disagree, there are very valid reasons to get rid of all 3 of those guys and shedding TA to save money to sign someone else is one of those reasons. He’s tough though in that you have to make that decision to pickup his option before FA even gets started so you need a realized plan that you’re working from. My fear is god help us with Getz in charge but we’ll see. Hey it could be an early indicator either way.

As Cirensica

You could choose not to pick TA’s option and instead sign him as a Free Agent for less than 14M

Last edited 14 days ago by As Cirensica

If you are not worried about losing him then yea that’s a plan. My guess though is he would be gone if left to his own volition so you would never get the chance to sign him.


Andrus or José Iglesias as the vet, and compete with Adalberto Mondesi (former Royal)


hard pass on Chapman. He’s already 30 and it really feels like the wheels are going to come off the next 2-3 years. I’d rather see what Montgomery or Ramos can offer than another 4-5 year deal for a declining veteran.

Teoscar would be fine because Colas is the only alternative. Regardless, they really should be prioritizing pitching.


If they are prioritizing pitching then most everything should be on hold until 2025 when all the good pitching hits the market.


Agreed. They’re not competing next year, so why waste the money on players that won’t move the needle anyway?

  • Jeimer Candelario and Jung Hoo Lee for RF and 1B/DH/3B based on who you can get rid of.
  • Andrus or José Iglesias as the vet, and compete with Adalberto Mondesi (former Royal)
  • Vet catcher option
  • Yoshinobu Yamamoto for #2 SP and he is young enough to want a shorter deal and hit FA again.
  • New Pitching coach, but keep Katz as 3rd guy to help bring back Giolito and sign Flaherty

Acting like we don’t all know who will be at C, 2B, SS and RF is a very sweet gesture.

Last edited 14 days ago by PauliePaulie

I think the only question on the position player side is who will be the shortstop in 2024. There just aren’t any difference makers at those other positions , except for Bellinger and Teoscar in right. I’m pretty sure they will go with Sosa/Ramos/Rodriguez at 2B, Lee/Perez/Hackenburg at C, and Colas in RF. They’ll need a RHH 4th OF- Tommy Pham, Hunter Renfroe or Adam Duvall are possibilities. Do they pick up TAs option or go for a 1-year stopgap at SS.

If Jerry is going to spend this winter, it will be for starting pitching. There are several decent starters available at all different price ranges. They will have to choose from Cease, Kopech, Toussaint, Scholtens, maybe Crochet, then add a couple of FAs.

  • Jung Hoo Lee for RF over Teoscar.
  • White Merrifield for 2B/RF “plan B”
  • Elvis or José Iglesias as vet option at SS maybe former Royal Adalberto Mondesi
  • Maybe a vet C to compete with Lee and Perez.

A guy who’s never hit outside of the Korean league(and not for power there either) vs someone with 146 HR and avg a 120 OPS+ over the last 6 years?

Mondesi has played 50 games total in the majors the last 3 years.

I don’t have a specific issue with Merrifield but he’s in late stage musical chairs and you don’t want to be holding his contract or needing his services when the music stops.
Elvis is the same. Iglesias didn’t even make it to the majors this year.


I believe in Lee. He may need a season to adjust, but I believed in Ha-Seong Kim and that seems to have worked out.

The Elvis/ Iglesias idea is just a vet. Could bring in Iglesias now. But that is the point. After TZ, SS is lacking, and if you believe in Colson, they won’t block him. Mondesi was mostly about lotter ticket Royal, former top prospect. Worth a camp invite, not a guarantied deal.


When Jerry says “we’re not giving 10 year deals to pitchers” I read that as “we’re still not giving 4 year deals to starting pitchers” because he hasn’t since Jaime Navarro.


If the pitching staff isn’t upgraded over the off-season, it doesn’t matter who the 8 fielders are.

OF – Benny stays in left and Luis R in center, of course. I’d send Colas to winter ball to continue to get reps, preferrably with hitting/fielding coaches that can bring results. Pencil Oscar in right until you can’t (Is Santander available?) Don’t know if Sheets stepped back because Pedro played him so very rarely or if Pedro rarely played him because he stepped back. I like Gavin as a LH power bat and 1B to spell Vaughn. L Sosa iffy.

IF – Yoan is a ++thirdbaseman and with his contract, most likely will start season at 3B. I’m pretty much done with TA at SS and leading off, but if he’s willing to move to 2B and bat about 6th or 7th, it could work. Montgomery should push the needle for a callup early. Vaughn has great hit tools, but seems to fatigue at times – maybe if Sheets would spell him for about 40 games, they’d both prosper.

C – They’re probably stuck staying with the kids. Though Carlos Perez is on the 40-man, Korey Lee looks like is going to get the first audition. I like him. Quero shouldn’t be far off and Hackenberg has had some highlight moments this year. 3 catchers?

Util – Remillard and ?


Montgomery is still young (21) and needs time to develop. He’s barely played in AA, much less no time in AAA. Rushing him up next year is a huge mistake, that’s what they did with Vaughn. Query is the same only he’s younger, he’s only 20. They can’t be short sighted and end up ruining these prospects for a year they likely won’t be contending.


You’d have to be a Sox fan to find all those question marks somehow… positive.

Root Cause

2019, Moncada gave me a reason to tune in, hoping to see highlights in real time.

It is truly a sad narrative when I can’t get excited now thinking these last couple of weeks isn’t sustainable. It would be great to find out is was health-related and if he somehow found a regimen that works for him but not holding my breath by any means.

I rate the FO credit score to be sub 300. I am not lending them any credit much less hope for next year.
*Fire Grifol. 50 points but only if you go find someone not already on speed dial.
*For the love of God get a real RF and a 2nd baseman for once in a generation. 50 more points.
*Get 2 starting pitchers and maybe I’ll tune in next year.


The fact that DH is pencilled in is the major problem. Trading Burger instead of Eloy set the team back a year. Eloy gives them no flexibility and no depth. Burger could at least play in the field if a guy needed to DH for a day or two to nurse an injury. Moncada could never get a few days at DH unless Eloy was on the IL. (Nor could Grandal.) Vaughn/Jimenez/Sheets/Burger all being on the 40-man roster is bad roster contruction – having them all on the 26-man at once is incompetence. Vaughn/Burger was the only combination that made sense because Burger could play another position if need be.

2024 is a rebuild year, there aren’t any position players worth going after except as bench options. Let the kids play and see how they improve. For that reason Moncada and Anderson are sure to be on the club in 2024 and will probably be gone by August. The 2024 focus should be on pitching and especilly keeping the BB/9 down as this has been the biggest problem. For that reason alone it should be Last Chance Ranch for Bummer and Kopech.


Yes, those are very good points. Even though Eloy has more upside, Burger was better for the Sox. He could spell Vaughn at first and Moncada at 3rd. That could keep Moncada fresher and healthier. And a healthy Moncada is dangerous.


He also hits the ball in the air which gives him a chance at 40 HR which he still might get in not quite a first full season.


Jung Hoo Lee for RF from Korea. I think he is worth going after. And he is only 25.


Here’s Pedro Grifol a couple of weeks ago: “Him not being a starter is not anywhere close to what we’re thinking and anywhere close to what he should be thinking,” Grifol said.

And here’s what he says today:
“We talked to him about it and we’re going to back off a little bit and throw him out of [the bullpen],” Grifol said. “That does not mean that he’s a bullpen guy. It does not mean we’re not going to start him in the future.”

Honestly, The Pedro Grifol Experiment is almost fun-bad at this point. Almost.

Last edited 14 days ago by soxygen

Pedro is truly brainless and has no idea how to deal with questions.


As an out of market fan, I have to make extra effort to watch his interviews, but at this point I am making that effort. I’m more entertained by watching the bumbling idiot who was hired because Rick Hahn was “blown away” than I am watching the on field product.


Yeah, but remember, Getz was in on the hiring process too. That means either Getz is as big of an idiot as Hahn, or he is extremely stubborn. If Pedro is the manager in 2024, Getz is a complete moron.

As Cirensica

Oh boy…what an underwhelming manager. He is just incredibly clueless for a baseball person. He offers no direction. The White Sox cannot continue this charade.


I believe that decision came from upstairs and they leave Grifol to take the criticism.They don’t care how much more clueless he looks.