CHICAGO – It’s been a boom season for White Sox third baseman Yoan Moncada.
While being measured for bust status last year, Moncada hit .235/.315/.400 with 17 home runs and 61 RBIs. He also led the major leagues with 217 strikeouts.
Still only 24 years old, Moncada is back to having a bright future. The switch-hitter is slashing .301/.358/.535 this season, and Moncada already has 20 home runs and 59 RBIs in only 97 games while cutting his strikeout total to 113.
“I think guys that are highly skilled; you’ve heard me say they make exponential jumps,” Sox manager Rick Renteria said.
Moncada is undoubtedly a key piece for the Sox moving forward. As for the present, he’s just trying to get back on the field.
Moncada has been sidelined since July 31 with a strained right hamstring, but he had another good workout during batting practice Saturday and could be back playing in the next few days.
“I’ve been feeling better, way better,” Moncada said through an interpreter. “I still have some discomfort, just a little bit, not a big deal. I wouldn’t say 100 percent, but much better.”
Moncada said he feels the hamstring tightness in certain situations.
“Fielding, mostly,” he said. “When I have to charge for the ball in front of me. And batting from the right side, a little bit. I didn’t feel any pain or discomfort hitting from the left side. That’s a good sign.”
Good timing: The Sox gave out Eloy Jiménez bobbleheads Saturday, which commemorated the rookie left fielder’s first major league home run.
Jiménez actually hit his first two homers in an April 12 game against New York at Yankee Stadium.
Still trying to get his timing back after being out from July 17-27 with an elbow injury, Jiménez homered against the A’s on Saturday night, his 19th of the season.
“I don’t feel 100 percent yet with the timing, but I know it’s coming,” Jiménez said. “I am really close.”
Herrera update: On the injured list since July 18 with a right oblique strain, relief pitcher Kelvin Herrera is back with the Sox after making three rehab appearances for Triple-A Charlotte.
The right-hander could be activated as early as Sunday.
“He’s progressed very, very well,” Renteria said. “He looked good. Healthwise, he feels great.”