GLENDALE, Ariz. — With newfound playoff expectations, how the daily lineup shakes out is suddenly of great interest to White Sox fans.
It might not be as important as the large amount of online discussion dedicated to the subject suggests. That's not to say I haven't been a part of it, doing the same on the White Sox Talk Podcast and crafting my own lineup to kill time between SoxFest and the start of spring training.
Rick Renteria's batting order won't be fully revealed for some time. That's how the skipper rolls. But if it's up to Yoan Moncada, he knows where he would be hitting in the White Sox lineup.
"I would like to hit in the second spot of the lineup," he said through team interpreter Billy Russo on Friday at Camelback Ranch. "That’s where I feel more comfortable.
"Like I said before, I’m open to be in any spot of the lineup. I’m here to help the team. I’m here to make the team better, and whatever position they give me I’m going to be good with it."
But he has a preference.
During his breakout 2019 campaign, Moncada spent most of his time in the No. 2 spot, slashing .344/.401/.604 in 68 games there. His 1.005 OPS as the two-hitter was significantly higher than the .915 OPS he put up for the season.
No. 2 seems like a reasonable spot for Moncada. Renteria hinted that reigning batting champion Tim Anderson is going to get a shot at leading off. Jose Abreu and Edwin Encarnacion aren't bad bets to fall behind them at three and four in the order.
Of course, there's a reason players don't construct the lineup. If they did, no one would ever bat ninth. But Renteria said players' comfort in certain spots is something he thinks about when building his batting order.
"As a manager, I’m dealing with a human being and I do take into account where guys feel comfortable," Renteria said Friday. "If you’re trying to change spots in the lineup where they can bat, you’ve got to do it subtlety and you’ve got to make sure you’re having conversations with the guy and that ultimately the player has to feel good about where they’re at and if we can get to the point where they feel good about different slots, we take advantage of it. But yeah, do I take it into account. Absolutely."
Does that mean Renteria has decided on where to bat Moncada?
If Moncada stays as productive as he was in 2019 and feels most comfortable doing it from the No. 2 spot, perhaps that is the best place for him.
In the end, the lineup on Opening Day matters a whole lot less than the lineup come September and, the White Sox hope, October.Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.