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The whole premise of Yoán Moncada returning from the injured list without a rehab stint would be a lot more exciting if this Yoán Moncada weren’t hitting .179/.230/.292 before he tweaked his hamstring.
Sure, this Yoán Moncada posted a five-hit, five-RBI game in his last full game before the injury, but as that sweep at Comerica Park disappears in the rear-view mirror, there’s a mounting pile of evidence that success against the Tigers isn’t indicative of much. Games against Detroit account for the White Sox’s three highest-scoring performances — two double-digit outbursts, and a 9-5 victory on June 13 that was one of two games in which they scored nine runs in regulation.
The outlier-like nature of their production makes it worth isolating their performance against the Tigers until they show some ability to allocate their production more widely against other teams.
- vs. Detroit: .345/.389/.543
- vs. Others: .242/.300/.359
The White Sox have a .932 OPS against the Tigers, an .809 OPS against the Blue Jays, a .764 OPS against the Rangers, and everybody else has held them under .700.
This is a very rudimentary and incomplete analysis involving small samples. On the other hand, the White Sox really haven’t warranted much deeper as long as they’re operating with a lengthy do-not-fly list. If the names are the same …
Those players are designed hitter/outfielder Andrew Vaughn, first baseman Jose Abreu, shortstop Tim Anderson, left fielder AJ Pollock and center fielder Luis Robert.
… then Moncada would make it two-thirds of a lineup. Anderson seems to have found his top gear — he stole two bases and scored from first on a Vaughn double — and Abreu’s gait no longer looks pained, so maybe this story caught the White Sox at Peak Hobbled.
At the same time, we know full well that the White Sox can’t build an entire offense out of Tim Anderson and José Abreu, and “Moncada fresh off the injured list without a rehab stint” doesn’t provide a whole lot of hope as a concept. For one, we saw AJ Pollock struggle for weeks after rushing back in April. Or you can just think of Moncada’s entire season as a rehab stint from his oblique issue, and we’re seeing how well that’s going.
The good news is that it’s fairly easy to tell whether Moncada’s functioning properly. If he’s getting bullied by ordinary fastballs, then there’s no reason to expect much of an impact. If he’s getting some triple-digit exit velocity and it isn’t going into the ground, he might stand a chance of picking up where he left off. Then it’s just a matter of hoping his body holds up, and holding your breath every time he exerts effort on the basepaths.
The White Sox made room for Moncada by optioning Lenyn Sosa to Triple-A. Sosa did get into four games during his brief stay on the roster, going 1-for-12 with a double, a walk and three strikeouts. He also grounded into a double play.
There’s a lot of consternation over the point (or pointlessness) of Sosa’s long weekend in the majors. For instance:
I find it more defensible, if only because an infielder needed to be added to the 40-man roster and there was uncertainty around Anderson’s ability to hold up, making Sosa the best option for playing time on the left side of the infield if it arose. Spiegel suggested going with Cohoes’ Zach Remillard, who would fit the requirement for a capable body without using an option on Sosa, but given the importance of games at this juncture and the uncertainty on the depth chart, I don’t think I’d have wanted to see another roster spot devoted to somebody who shouldn’t be playing.
Basically, I’m inclined to think all the options were bad due to the concentration of injuries among infielders, and the Sox picked the most aggressive path in patching a hole. That might create a situation where we’re bemoaning Sosa’s lack of options in spring training 2025, but who knows what the roster will look like by then.
There’s also the possibility that Sosa’s option might go unused. If another injury presses Sosa back into action within 20 days, then the Sox will retain all three options until further notice. That’s how the Sox were able to trade Zack Collins for Reese McGuire, after all.