Yoan Moncada poised to make his first career start
On the heels of his major league debut, Red Sox top prospect Yoan Moncada will make his first start with the team on Saturday against the Athletics. The 21-year-old infielder went 0-for-2 during Friday’s 16-2 blowout win in Oakland, drawing a walk against J.B. Wendelken and scoring a run on a Travis Shaw RBI double in the eighth inning.
With Moncada’s switch-hitting capabilities, the Red Sox will have another left-handed bat to balance out the lineup. Like fellow switch-hitter Sandy Leon, Moncada profiles better from the left side of the plate and will get the bulk of his starts against right-handed pitchers. Manager John Farrell also intends to pencil in third baseman Aaron Hill as a defensive option in later innings, supposedly with infielder Travis Shaw as a backup option.
It’s an accelerated timetable for Moncada, who spent just 45 games in Double-A Portland before getting the call, but the Red Sox are in no position to wait. They’ve been red-hot in the last week, taking three of their last five games with a cumulative 33 runs scored and currently sit two games up in the wild card race.
For some teams, September baseball brings the fevered excitement of a playoff run, while those who find themselves out of the running can take solace in the long-awaited debuts of top prospects. Right now, it looks like the Red Sox have the best of both worlds.