Inbox: What's with Moncada's spot in lineup?

Beat reporter Scott Merkin answers questions from White Sox fans

April 30th, 2018

leads off with a home run in back-to-back games, then is hitting sixth the next game. Am I missing something?
-- Kevin, Aurora, Ill., @kduddle

The White Sox are trying to give Moncada the best chance to develop into what they believe will be a standout player. So with the switch-hitter producing better from the left side and having more chances to hit from the left side, he has been consistently leading off against right-handed pitchers, but then he has been moved down more in the order of late against southpaws such as the Royals' Danny Duffy on Friday and Erik Skoglund on Saturday.
When is the Matt Davidson statue unveiling at Kauffman Stadium?
-- Chester, Kansas City, @nEdgarYost

I don't think the Royals will be unveiling a statue of the guy who has utterly pulverized them over seven games. But maybe Davidson should picture fountains in the outfield whenever he's hitting to provide the same sort of offensive dominance everywhere he plays.
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Who is the most interesting current White Sox player to interview? And does the status of newly eligible Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson excite you, or is it just a yawn?
-- Jeff, Indianapolis, Ind., @IndyJeffrey

A plethora of really good interviews exist throughout the White Sox clubhouse. But in this instance, I'll point to , who has the honest but laid-back approach to life I wish I could have, and , who in doing interviews with the assistance of interpreter Billy Russo does a great job of conveying what he's feeling and thinking. And anything helping the University of Michigan always is big news.
Do you think the White Sox will be contenders by next season?
-- Andrew, @supersoxfan79

It's too early to guess who will be part of this ongoing rebuild, so I can't guarantee contenders. I would definitely think 2020, but I really believe they will be a competitive team on the verge of being postseason-bound in the near future.
When do you expect and to get called up? Kopech looks like a service-time issue and just waiting. They need to have someone with consistent production in that lineup, and Jimenez may be the best solution for that.
-- Josh, Reading, Pa., @joshuabmayer

Jimenez looked like a late 2018 callup even before the mild pectoral strain set him back a bit. I was expecting the end of May or the start of June for Kopech, although I mentioned early on he could follow the path from last year. As general manager Rick Hahn has said many a time, the good ones have a way of forcing the issue, and Kopech and Jimenez are becoming rebuild cornerstones.
How has 's forearm injury been coming along? When could we see him pitching?
-- Thure, Chicago, @ThureHall

Both Hahn and director of player development Chris Getz recently have said Hansen, the team's No. 4 prospect per MLB Pipeline, is making progress. After the injury issue is completely calmed down, they have to build his arm up again.
Has Rick Renteria shown yet that he could be the right guy for our championship run? Anything specific that you think he could improve on as a manager?
-- Daniel, Mechanicsburg, Pa., @DanFlan24

White Sox players love playing for Renteria and his extremely thorough staff. They also have wholeheartedly bought into the style of baseball he's preaching. Renteria is the perfect fit now, and I see no reason why that fact won't hold true when they are ready to contend.