Yoán Moncada's leg issue persists.
White Sox manager Rick Renteria has been discussing his third baseman's legs since before the season started, with Moncada missing the first two weeks of the team's three-week ramp-up to Opening Day while on the injured list with COVID-19. With such a short time to get ready for the start of the season, which Moncada was able to make, Renteria said he'd likely give Moncada extra days off to rest his legs.
But Renteria admitted that plan did not play out as he had hoped.
"When he came back on to the field, I didn’t promise him but I eluded to the fact I would try to break him in slowly and play a couple of games and give him a day, another few days and give him a day off," the skipper said Tuesday. "And we didn’t do that. We weren’t able to do that."
While he looked fine and was mighty productive at the beginning of the campaign, Moncada has been visibly affected by something as the season has worn on, and it caused him to depart Saturday's 9-6 loss to the Kansas City Royals before the end of the ninth inning.
Moncada was involved in a bizarre play, his batted ball with two runners in scoring position dribbling down the first-base line not far from home plate. Royals pitcher Ian Kennedy fielded the ball but was hurt on the play himself and made an errant throw to first base. Both runners came home to score as the White Sox mounted a brief ninth-inning uprising, and Moncada went to second base. But upon sliding into the bag, he was obviously bothered in some fashion, and he left the field after a visit from the trainer.
After the game, Renteria reported that Moncada is day-to-day as he deals with continued irritation in his left leg.
"It's the same thing (that's been bothering him). It's the irritation he has in the back of his leg," Renteria said. "Obviously, he felt it uncomfortable. It made no sense to keep him in there, so we pinch-ran for him.
"He'll be evaluated today, and we'll see how he's doing tomorrow.
"I would say (the issue is) in the general area (of his hamstring). That would be accurate. I wouldn't call it a hamstring, but general area."
Renteria did give Moncada a day off in the first game of last weekend's Crosstown series against the Cubs, and the White Sox had two off days sandwiched around a two-game set with the Pittsburgh Pirates earlier this week.
But the issue persists. It hasn't been enough to knock Moncada out of the lineup too often. But it is something the continues to bother one of the team's key hitters.
Moncada is slashing .254/.341/.432 after Saturday's game, down from the .315/.367/.548 numbers he put up in a full season last year. But he has hit five home runs and driven in 17 runs through the White Sox first 33 games of this 60-game campaign.
The White Sox wrap their weekend set with the Royals on Sunday before heading to the Land of 10,000 Lakes for three games with the Minnesota Twins, their biggest series of the season to date.