MESA, Ariz. — Yoan Moncada applied some of his early work in camp to the field on Monday afternoon when he started a double play with a spectacular diving stop.
In his first start of the spring, the White Sox second baseman's dazzling play helped pitcher Lucas Giolito out of a first-inning jam. Moncada struck out in his only plate appearances as the White Sox and Cubs finished in a 4-4 tie in nine innings at Sloan Park.
"Definitely that play was unbelievable," Giolito said. "It really helped me get out of that inning. They had the momentum going, guys on base, nobody out. (Moncada) makes a play like that and they turn the double play, it's fantastic. It's really good defense to have behind you."
The top player acquired in the Chris Sale trade, Moncada has been described by some as not having a set position. There's a thought he might be better suited for third base or perhaps even center field. But Moncada prefers second base and that's where the White Sox intend to give him a chance.
White Sox manager Rick Renteria said earlier this spring that Moncada has all the requisite tools needed to play second base, he just needs to fine tune. Renteria said the biggest area of refinement is footwork and getting Moncada to take less circular routes to the ball.
Moncada feels good about the work he's put in so far.
"It's nothing really hard, but you have to make adjustments," Moncada said through an interpreter. "I'm trying to have my legs a little more open. That's work we're doing right now on my defense.
"My focus is just to try to get better in every aspect of the game, my offense, my defense, my baserunning too. It's the mentality we have here right now, and I'm just trying to take advantage of it."
Moncada has appeared in all three White Sox games this spring. He's 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and a walk.