Garcia gets rare start at hot corner in return

August 16th, 2019

ANAHEIM -- After missing four games with a right index finger bruise, was back in the White Sox lineup for Thursday’s 8-7 loss to the Angels at Angel Stadium, going 0-for-4 while batting leadoff.

“I feel better,” said Garcia, who sustained the injury on a slide during a 3-2 win in Oakland on Saturday. “I’ve been swinging the last two days, and I feel good.”

Garcia wasn’t in one of his usual spots in the outfield, or even at shortstop. For the first time this season, manager Rick Renteria had him slotted at third base. Garcia had played just 22 games (14 starts) at third in his seven-year Major League career, most recently on June 29, 2018, against the Rangers in Arlington.

“I still take ground balls [at third base] once in a while, just to keep in shape,” said Garcia. “I don’t think it’s gonna be worse. It’ll be OK.”

“He’s a guy that can play short, second, third, first, probably every outfield position,” said Renteria. “The only thing I haven’t had him do yet is catch bullpens. But he’s actually an excellent defender, and … he’s one of those guys that we have so much flexibility with. And even though he hasn’t played [third] in a while, he has played in the infield over the course of this season. He should be fine.”

Garcia is hitting .286/.318/.389 with seven home runs this season.

Moncada in Charlotte

Infielder joined Triple-A Charlotte to start a rehab assignment on Thursday, but was not in the Knights’ lineup for their game against Scranton Wilkes-Barre. Renteria said that Moncada will play his first rehab game on Friday.

“He’s doing fine, he’s doing very, very well,” said Renteria. “Before he left, he went through a pretty strong regimen of running and work to make sure he was ready to go and start this rehab assignment. And then we’re just going to monitor and make sure he’s coming through it well. He felt very good, very confident that he’d be back relatively soon.”

Moncada is on the 10-day injured list retroactive to July 31 with a strained right hamstring. The White Sox have sorely missed Moncada’s bat in his absence, as he was hitting .301/.358/.535 with 20 home runs before sustaining the injury.

Special guest broadcasters

With TV color commentator Steve Stone getting the weekend off, White Sox fans can look forward to a series of guest broadcasters joining play-by-play man Jason Benetti for the four-game set against the Angels.

The guests for Thursday’s broadcast remain a surprise, but on Friday, it’ll be basketball and broadcast legend Bill Walton. As a broadcaster, Walton has won an Emmy for “Best Live Sports Television Broadcast,” as well as the College Sports Information Directors of America’s Dick Enberg Award. Walton previously worked with Benetti at the Maui Jim Maui Invitational in November 2018.

On Saturday, it’s Michael Schur, known for his work on “The Office,” as well as for creating “The Good Place” and co-creating “Parks and Recreation” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” Schur is a noted baseball fan who previously blogged under the pseudonym “Ken Tremendous,” and sometimes sneaks baseball-themed jokes into his shows.

On Sunday, writer, actor and Chicago native Mike O’Brien will be on the call. A White Sox fan, O’Brien has written for “Saturday Night Live” and “A.P. Bio,” and recently appeared in the film “Booksmart.”