Moncada hasn't felt same since virus

September 3rd, 2020

tested positive for COVID-19 as part of the intake process during Summer Camp and was cleared to return to baseball action one week before Opening Day on July 24.

But the 25-year-old White Sox third baseman, in excellent physical condition, still feels the after-effects of the virus.

“Definitely, my body hasn’t felt the same after the virus. I feel a lack of energy, strength, it’s just a weird feeling. It’s different,” Moncada said Thursday through interpreter Billy Russo. “When I got to Chicago before I tested positive, I was feeling strong and with energy.

“Now, it’s like a daily battle to try to find that strength, that energy to go through the day. But that’s something that I have to deal with, and it is what it is. I have to find a way to get through it.”

Moncada also has dealt with left leg soreness, which took hold early in the season.

“It's not full strength like I'm used to, but I'm managing it,” Moncada said. “We're doing the therapies, and the training I'm doing helps me to stay on the field. I've been trying to handle it and control it the best I can.”

López goes to Schaumburg
In a somewhat surprising move, the White Sox optioned right-handed starter to the team’s alternate training site in Schaumburg, Ill. López was 0-2 with an 8.38 ERA over four starts and just 9 2/3 innings this season. He failed to make it out of the second inning in Wednesday's 8-1 loss in Minnesota.

López has made three starts since being activated from the 10-day injured list with right shoulder soreness. But López continues to struggle following a 2019 campaign where he posted a 5.38 ERA over 33 starts.

López was arguably the team’s best pitcher in 2018, when he finished with a 3.91 ERA over 32 starts and recorded 151 strikeouts in 188 2/3 innings. But the White Sox have their focus on the postseason and have no real time for in-season development, meaning López could return as a reliever.

“All options are on the table,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “We need to have him be able to help us. He’s got a good arm. He [was] great in his first go around. We want to find that guy again.”

With scheduled off-days on Monday and Thursday of next week, the White Sox would not need a fifth starter until Sept. 15 at home against the Twins. Carlos Rodón should be returning soon from his stint on the 10-day IL due to left shoulder soreness, but beyond Lucas Giolito, Dallas Keuchel, Dylan Cease and maybe Dane Dunning, it could be an all hands on-deck approach to simply pick up outs.

Renteria talked face-to-face on Thursday with López, who did not understand why he was pulled from Wednesday’s loss after 53 pitches. Renteria’s goal was to take care of López and the team.

“He might think like he has to work on his rhythm or work on timing and things of that nature,” Renteria said. “We’ll see if we can get him back on track.”

Flores gets his chance
Bernardo Flores Jr.
, the No. 19 White Sox prospect, per MLB Pipeline, will get his first big league opportunity after being called up from Schaumburg to replace López on the roster. The 25-year-old left-hander was the team’s seventh-round pick in the 2016 Draft.

“I feel proud of what I've done so far," Flores said. "I feel proud of my accomplishments, but I know there's still more to be done.”

Flores has topped out around three to four innings while throwing in Schaumburg.

Related

Third to first
, on the 10-day IL retroactive to Aug. 27 with a right groin strain, will throw this weekend in Schaumburg. González is feeling better, per Renteria.

• The White Sox are on pace to hit 105 home runs this season, which projects to 285 over 162 games. The team hit 54 in August but did not homer in the first two games of September.

He said it
“It's a sad day. I know a lot of people always spoke very, very highly of him as a person. Obviously, a great competitor, great pitcher in the big leagues. He was a part of White Sox history.” -- Renteria on the passing of Hall of Famer Tom Seaver, announced on Wednesday, who won his 300th career game among his 78 starts and 81 games pitched for the White Sox.