Robert crushes 2 HRs in intrasquad game

Moncada could see game action soon; Giolito gets work in

July 19th, 2020

CHICAGO -- The first home run hit by White Sox center fielder on Saturday night at Guaranteed Rate Field during a Summer Camp intrasquad contest landed in the center-field shrubbery on a line drive. That’s territory usually reserved for Hall of Famers Frank Thomas and Jim Thome or teammate Eloy Jiménez.

But that connection off Kelvin Herrera was topped by an encore blast down the line off of Steve Cishek to the back of the left-field bleachers. As the regular season approaches, the rookie center fielder and No. 3 overall prospect, per MLB Pipeline, continues to draw rave reviews.

“He's made some great plays in the outfield,” said White Sox second baseman Nick Madrigal, who was Minor League teammates with Robert last season. “I know there've been some clips out there of him tracking down balls and even that one of him hitting that ball to center field off-balance, falling down.

“I've seen it so often, that it doesn't surprise me at this moment. A lot of people are shocked, ‘How'd he do that?’ But I know how much raw power he has. I've seen him hit balls 400 feet just one-handed. He's a tremendous athlete, and I think he's going to be great this year.”

Moncada could be in game action soon
Yoán Moncada might get in one of the three exhibition games against the Cubs or Brewers this week after returning to the team Thursday following a positive COVID-19 test, which had caused his absence since the start of Summer Camp.

“It wouldn't be a stretch to see him in any one of these exhibition games, not at all,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “He's moving along well enough.

Moncada did early work Saturday with bench coach Joe McEwing and third-base coach Nick Capra, and his legs are feeling a lot better than Renteria anticipated.

“I'm certainly hopeful he'll be a part of us as we open up. That'll still be to be determined in the next couple of days,” Renteria said. “I don't want to jump ahead, and I want to be able to make sure we do the best for him as well, because we're trying to get through a 60-game schedule and it would be terrible for me to try to rush him and then all of a sudden, before you know it in the blink of an eye, the season's over and we're not able to use him.

“He's speaking very positively. Like all players, they're always going to tell you the right things. You just have to make sure they're telling you the truth.”

Third to first
• Lucas Giolito got up and down six times and recorded 15 outs during Saturday’s start, but did it in a way only possible during intrasquad action. Giolito pitched in what would have been the top of the fourth, the bottom of the fourth and the top of the fifth, although he didn’t record three outs in every half-inning. He fanned five during the outing, and his next start should be Opening Day against the Twins on July 24.

• Drew Anderson will start for the White Sox on Sunday at Wrigley Field in the club's first exhibition game. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. CT. Dallas Keuchel faces the Cubs on Monday at 7:10 p.m. at Guaranteed Rate Field.

He said it
“Maybe in the past it was letting guys work through things to gain the experience and the knowledge of how to work through those things. Maybe now I'm letting them work through those things, because they know how to work through those things, they know how to navigate through them, more confident in their ability to do certain things.” -- Renteria, on a possible change of managerial approach with a young club in the 60-game season

“I would really laugh if Ricky got ejected from his own intrasquad game.” -- White Sox television play-by-play announcer Jason Benetti during Saturday night’s broadcast, after Renteria had an extended talk near home plate with the umpiring crew as Giolito was cooling down in the dugout before coming back for the fifth