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Young infielders keep improving on defense

Renteria sees strides taken by Moncada, Anderson despite errors
August 25, 2018

DETROIT -- The White Sox are committing errors at a higher clip this season than almost any other team in baseball. Two errors in a 6-3 win over the Tigers on Friday night brought their total to 94, third most in the Majors and most in the American League. The

DETROIT -- The White Sox are committing errors at a higher clip this season than almost any other team in baseball. Two errors in a 6-3 win over the Tigers on Friday night brought their total to 94, third most in the Majors and most in the American League. The White Sox .980 fielding percentage is also the lowest mark in the AL. Manager Rick Renteria attributed his defense's miscues to an array of reasons but said he's seeing improvement.
"[Maybe] some of the more routine plays could be handled a little more fundamentally," Renteria said. "It's not that they're not working. … I know that all of our guys on our staff work with our guys a lot. They take a lot of pride in it."
In Friday night's win, Nicky Delmonico (Pup) made an error at first base -- in just his fifth game playing first this season -- when he charged on a high chopper that got under his glove. Later in the game, second baseman Yoan Moncada (Yoyo) botched a grounder that bounced off his glove.
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"I think that some of it has to do with gaining more experience for some of these young guys," Renteria said. "Some of it is not necessarily of their making. It could be a little tough hop, a little surface issue at some times. Most of it has to do more with concentration and focus."
The errors by Delmonico and Moncada seemed to fall under the category of concentration and focus, as both appeared to be relatively routine plays, especially at the Major League level. In Moncada's case, the mistake allowed a Tigers runner to reach base and eventually score. The idea of errors becoming costly is one Renteria stresses. Opponents get more outs to work with, and pitchers are forced to throw longer.
Three White Sox players -- Yolmer Sanchez (El De Pinonal), Tim Anderson (TA7) and Moncada -- have at least 12 errors this season. Anderson and Moncada are each in their third year in the Majors.
"Anderson has certainly improved on his backhand," Renteria said of his shortstop. "He's making a lot more plays to the middle of the diamond.
"Yesterday we had a rarity, especially in Moncada's instance, where he was coming forward on a high chopper that I thought he could have surrounded a little easier to make the play. … He's actually shown better improvement, especially fundamentally speaking."
Despite the numbers, Renteria said he can see his defense getting more polished across the board.
"They're all improving," he said. "To the extent where we want them to be. Not quite yet, but they're moving along."

** Tyler Fenwick ** is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit.