Home / News / 3 takeaways from Chicago White Sox camp, including Yoán Moncada bunting

3 takeaways from Chicago White Sox camp, including Yoán Moncada bunting

GLENDALE, Ariz. — It’s been a relatively healthy spring for the Chicago White Sox, except for some deep innings.

On Tuesday afternoon, the team announced that right-handed reliever Jimmy Lambert was experiencing shoulder issues. In Los Angeles on Thursday, Dr. He will get a second opinion from Neal ElAttrache.

Lambert had a 5.26 ERA in 35 games (one start) last season.

Ahead of Tuesday’s Cactus League game against the Cincinnati Reds, the Sox optioned pitcher Bailey Horn to Triple-A Charlotte. With the move, the Sox remain with 51 players in camp: 29 pitchers, four catchers, nine infielders and nine outfielders.

Here are three more takeaways from camp.

1. Bunting is a secret trick for Yoán Moncada.

Yoan Moncada He singled to right field in the first inning of Saturday’s Cactus League game against the San Diego Padres in Peoria, Ariz.

The next time, the third baseman advanced to center.

Moncada spotted Padres third baseman Graham Pauley playing deep before his third strikeout and made a perfect strikeout for his third hit of the day.

“This is one of the tricks I have,” Moncada said through a translator on Monday. “I know I don’t show it much, but I think now is the time to start showing it. It’s something I’m comfortable doing.

Moncada has three home runs in his major league career. He described the bunting option as “a weapon I can use and display.”

White Sox third baseman Yoan Moncada wraps a towel around his head in the dugout during a spring training game against the Padres on Saturday, March 9, 2024, in Peoria, Ariz. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

Manager Pedro Grifol said many factors come into play when determining when to bunt, but “it’s a good thing to have in the bag.”

Grifol said Moncada “handles the bat really well” from both ends, which is one of the reasons he’s likely the No. 2 hitter on the Sox roster.

“It was perfect,” Grifol said Tuesday. “His mentality and the way he does it (and) the work he puts in.”

Moncada is hitting .360 (9-for-25) with five walks in 11 games this spring.

“He’s a pretty good two-hole hitter if he puts his mind to it, so we’ll make sure his mind is right,” Grifol said.

Moncada likes this spot in the lineup.

“I always liked being in the second row, I feel comfortable there,” he said. “It’s more natural for me.”

2. Michael Kopech continues his quest for consistency this spring.

White Sox pitcher Michael Kopech pitches against the Dodgers on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
White Sox pitcher Michael Kopech pitches against the Dodgers on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Sox starter Michael Kopech He was one pitch away from a scoreless first inning against the Colorado Rockies on Monday at Camelback Ranch.

But Rockies first baseman Michael Toglia hit a 1-2 pitch for a two-run home run. Sean Bouchard followed with a solo home run.

“It’s very important for the men to be able to get the job done,” Kopech said after the trip. “This means I trust my stuff to do what it’s supposed to do, rather than just trying to land something for an attack.”

Kopech allowed four runs on four hits with two strikeouts and two walks in 2 1/3 innings of work in the 7-2 loss.

“I was making good progress with my fastball,” he said. “I wasn’t very good at my breaking stuff (Monday), and when I did land a few, I put too much emphasis on throwing them for strikes and kind of left them in the middle of the plate. A few were hit a long way.

“After that I started to nibble a bit, put myself in a tough spot and had to get out of it a bit and didn’t do a very good job.”

Grifol said Kopech was “sometimes really aggressive, sometimes indecisive.”

“This is not a combination you can use,” Grifol said. “He’s aware of that, he knows he has to live in a middle ground where he’s aggressive but under control.”

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