MINNEAPOLIS -- Yoan Moncada failed to get down a suicide squeeze bunt with Omar Narvaez breaking from third in the seventh inning of Wednesday's 2-1 victory over the Rays, leading to Narvaez being thrown out and the White Sox not scoring.But much like he has with his early-season struggles at
MINNEAPOLIS -- Yoan Moncada failed to get down a suicide squeeze bunt with Omar Narvaez breaking from third in the seventh inning of Wednesday's 2-1 victory over the Rays, leading to Narvaez being thrown out and the White Sox not scoring.
But much like he has with his early-season struggles at the plate, Moncada directly addressed the mistake when asked pregame Thursday at Target Field.
"I got the play," said Moncada through interpreter Billy Russo. "I knew what I was supposed to do, but I wasn't able to execute it."
Moncada's bunting mistake added to his overall early frustration, which didn't abate with an 0-for-4 game in Thursday's 4-0 loss, dropping his line to .184/.298/.306 with 24 strikeouts in 49 at-bats. Moncada has particularly struggled against sliders, while White Sox manager Rick Renteria believes he's pulling his head a little bit and not keeping it down through the swing.
"He's not really seeing the ball into the zone as well as I would like him to," Renteria said. "But on top of that, [he needs to] just continue to eliminate noise."
"My swing is not in sync right now," Moncada said. "I hope -- probably in one or two more days -- I'll be able to adjust and put my swing where it's supposed to be. I've been patient. I've been recognizing the pitches. It's just my swing is not there."
Having a teaching-oriented manager such as Renteria helps a young player like Moncada, who felt better after talking with Renteria in the dugout following the missed bunt.
"I'm not saying that I felt good, because I knew that it was my responsibility," Moncada said. "But after we talked, I was able to digest a little bit better the situation, just because of the way he talked to me."
Saladino ready behind the plate
An MRI on Welington Castillo's sore right knee showed no further damage, but the White Sox catcher felt sore after the flight to Minnesota and was held out of the starting lineup Thursday. His absence left Narvaez as the starting catcher and infielder Tyler Saladino as the backup.
Saladino warmed up James Shields and Nate Jones during Wednesday's victory, noting, with a smile, the difference in their raw stuff. He also caught Carson Fulmer's side session Thursday and looked like a kid on Christmas wearing the catcher's gear as he talked to the media.
"I like catching. I caught all the way up until high school," Saladino said. "We played so much baseball as kids that we all kind of just played everywhere. I think that's why I like shortstop, also. You are kind of center of the diamond involved. There's a lot of stuff going on.
"We don't want anything to happen that would need me to be in the ballgame. But given the situation, I'm just trying to be best prepared as I can. It is kind of silly, when you see me walking around in the gear. But at the same time, I take it seriously."
Delmonico a Twins 'favorite'
Minnesota second baseman James Dozier dubbed Nicky Delmonico his "favorite player" after Delmonico's walkoff homer last Sept. 27 against Los Angeles knocked the Angels from the playoffs and gave the Twins a Wild Card spot. But the two have yet to meet.
"If I get on second or something, I'll definitely say a couple of things," Delmonico said. "Obviously, during the time I hit it, I didn't think about it until after. It was definitely a cool moment, to see their reaction, their video after I hit it."
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.