Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Moncada working toward successful 2nd half

MLB.com @scottmerkin

CHICAGO -- Yoan Moncada delivered an accurate assessment concerning the first half of his first full big league season with the White Sox.

"It hasn't been as good as I wanted it to be," Moncada said through interpreter Billy Russo prior to Friday night's series opener with the Royals. "But it hasn't been as bad as you can think."

View Full Game Coverage

CHICAGO -- Yoan Moncada delivered an accurate assessment concerning the first half of his first full big league season with the White Sox.

"It hasn't been as good as I wanted it to be," Moncada said through interpreter Billy Russo prior to Friday night's series opener with the Royals. "But it hasn't been as bad as you can think."

View Full Game Coverage

Moncada called the first half "challenging," but he quickly added he's "learning a lot and working."

Uneven would be a better way to describe the 23-year-old's performance. Entering Friday he had committed 14 errors, more than any other second baseman, while striking out 129 times, which was tied with Joey Gallo for the Major League lead. Moncada also had a .231 average and .710 OPS over 337 at-bats.

But Moncada recorded 18 doubles, five triples, 11 home runs and 40 RBIs, joining Javier Baez, Andrew Benintendi and Trevor Story as the only MLB players to register 15+ doubles, 5+ triples, 10+ homers and 40+ RBIs this season. The only other White Sox to reach those marks before the break are Alex Rios (2012), Jose Valentin (2000), Ray Durham (2000), Ivan Calderón (1989), Gee Walker (1939) and Al Simmons (1933).

Much of Moncada's struggles have come since he returned from the disabled list on May 15, after dealing with a left hamstring injury, hitting .215 with 80 strikeouts and 14 walks in 55 games. But Moncada's confidence and even-keel demeanor has not changed.

"I think the second half is going to be much better," Moncada said.

Avi working his way back
Avisail Garcia did some running, throwing and outfield work pregame on Friday, telling White Sox head athletic trainer Herm Schneider he felt good in testing his strained right hamstring. A Grade 1 strain this time has manager Rick Renteria hoping Garcia won't need an injury rehab assignment.

Video: CWS@HOU: Avisail Garcia exits with hamstring injury

"This was, sincerely, very mild. It's more precautionary," Renteria said. "It's just a matter of allowing that [strained hamstring] to calm down a little bit. Hopefully, we'll get him back on the field as quickly as possible.

"He's doing OK. It's one of those things you just have to give it time to continue the treatments he's getting. There's no rush right now. We're getting ready to go to a break. This weekend we'll clear out, and he'll continue to get treated over the break. Hopefully it's starting to subside, but you still got to put him through the rigors before you determine if he's ready to go."

Jimenez still on Major League map
A strained left adductor has sidelined Eloy Jimenez, ranked as the White Sox No. 1 prospect by MLB Pipeline and baseball's No. 2 prospect overall. It doesn't mean the injury will keep Jimenez from a Major League promotion in '18.

"We don't have to make that decision until we get to the last month of baseball," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. "People understand that we're going to respond to his readiness and make our decision accordingly.

"Right now he's on the DL, so that decision isn't really on the table. Given the progress he's made when he's been active, that issue could be back on the table at some point here in the not-too-distant future, but for now it's a moot point."

Jimenez, 21, currently resides at Triple-A Charlotte and has a .313 average, .912 OPS, 12 homers and 46 RBIs between stops at Double-A Birmingham and with the Knights. Jimenez is progressing nicely, injury-wise, according to Hahn, and he could return in the next week to 10 days.

"One thing that given the situation we're in right now is that we're always going to err on the side of caution with these guys," Hahn said. "There's no need to rush anyone back. It's more about making sure guys are 100 percent healthy and in a position to succeed.

"There's no reason to push Eloy if there's any reason whatsoever with him. We're going to make sure everything is 100 percent resolved and go from there."

McDowell stresses knowing how to pitch
Jack McDowell once was a top young pitcher as part of the White Sox organization, being selected 5th overall in the first round of the 1987 MLB Draft. He also works with burgeoning young hurlers, serving currently as the head baseball coach for Division II Queens University of Charlotte, N.C.

So McDowell, in town for the 25th anniversary of the 1993 American League West champs, has some advice for the pitching prospects in the White Sox system.

Video: KC@CWS: McDowell, Bere on 1993 White Sox reunion

"People are going to find with baseball in general, you're going to need to be able to pitch. That's my biggest point," McDowell said. "I don't care how hard you throw. Are you getting anybody out?

"What's your spin rate? I don't really care what anybody's spin rate is. Are they swinging and missing at your pitches? Good for you. Can you pitch? Are you getting guys out? That's what it's all about and that's never going to change."

McDowell, Hall of Famer Tim Raines and Jason Bere met with the media on Friday. More players from the '92 team and coaches will be on hand on Saturday for the official celebration.

Third to first
• Right-handed pitcher Bruce Rondon was outrighted to Charlotte after being designated for assignment on Wednesday.

Nicky Delmonico was sent to Charlotte for continuation of his injury rehab assignment. Delmonico was 3-for-15 in five games for Birmingham.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Chicago White Sox, Yoan Moncada