Yoán Moncada came within a triple of the cycle while collecting a career-high five hits against the Detroit Tigers on June 15 at Comerica Park.
The Chicago White Sox third baseman had to exit the team’s next game in the third inning with an injury. And the next day he landed on the injured list with a strained right hamstring.
“Yes, it’s a little bit frustrating, but there isn’t anything else you can do,” Moncada said of the timing of the setback, speaking through an interpreter before Tuesday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels. “Just keep moving forward.”
Moncada moved back into the Sox lineup Tuesday after the team reinstated him from the 10-day IL and optioned infielder Lenyn Sosa to Triple-A Charlotte.
“I feel good right now,” Moncada said. “I hope to feel good right away at home plate. As we know, it’s not easy to get into your timing and your rhythm, especially after the days that I have not been playing.
“But I’m just going to go out there and try to do my best and hopefully I can get my timing right away.”
Moncada was placed on the IL retroactive to June 18 after he left in the third inning of a June 17 game in Houston. He talked with the training staff in the dugout after grounding out in the second, then remained in the game for the bottom of the second. Josh Harrison replaced him in the third.
Sox manager Tony La Russa said getting Moncada back is a “boost.”
“He’s worked at it, he feels comfortable,” La Russa said. “He knows his stroke. Just got to keep him healthy, get the gang together and play some games.”
Moncada is slashing .179/.230/.292 with three homers and 12 RBIs in 29 games.
“I’ve been working really hard and I’ve been doing all that I’m supposed to do, and for whatever reason the results are not there,” Moncada said. “But I’m not planning to put my head down. I’m going to keep working hard and try to figure out a way to get to a more consistent rhythm and hopefully to produce as everybody knows I can do it.”
He has dealt with a variety of injuries for much of this season. He began the season on the IL with a right oblique strain and played his first game May 9. He experienced quadriceps discomfort that limited his playing time in late May.
“I was injured the last day of spring training and then I came back and I was feeling good and then I have an injury again,” Moncada said. “And I come back again and I was feeling good and then another injury. For some reason things haven’t gone my way this year, and it’s really weird. All we can do is try to get over it.”
Moncada wasn’t sure about the plan for working him back into the mix.
“But I’m open to play and help the team as long as they want me to,” he said. “I won’t be asking for any rest.”
Sosa joined the Sox from Double-A Birmingham on Thursday and went 1-for-12 (.083) with a double in four games. He collected his first major-league hit in Sunday’s 4-3 victory against the Baltimore Orioles at Guaranteed Rate Field.
He led the Southern League in several offensive categories — including hits (85) and batting average (.331) — at the time of his promotion.
Sosa was called up for infield depth after Danny Mendick suffered a torn ACL in his right knee on June 22. Harrison and Leury García remain options at second base, with Jake Burger in position to spell Moncada at third.
“With Yoán (returning) and you start looking around, (Sosa) wasn’t going to play every day, or a lot,” La Russa said. “He’s made the right impression but needs to play (every day).
“Beyond decent (showing). A double play he made (in the third inning Monday), the spin and accurate throw, I’ve seen guys with more experience have trouble with that play. Toward the end he was rolling balls over (at the plate), hunting hits. He’ll get back on his stroke.”