Yoán Moncada pulled a double into the right-field nook through the second inning of an April 2 sport in opposition to the Houston Astros final season at Minute Maid Park.
The Chicago White Sox third baseman doubled once more — this time pulling a grounder that simply stayed honest down the first-base line — within the sixth inning. Batting left-handed once more, the switch-hitter capped the day by going the opposite means with a two-run house run to left discipline within the ninth.
Moncada had a powerful begin to the season, going 8-for-18 (.444) with two homers and 4 RBIs within the collection in opposition to the Astros as he constructed off his All-Tournament Team efficiency for Cuba through the World Baseball Classic. Then got here the again points that led to 2 journeys to the injured checklist.
“During the first half of that season, it was painful, stressful,” Moncada stated by way of an interpreter Thursday on the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago in Bridgeport. “I couldn’t do anything. I wanted to do stuff and help the team but I couldn’t. It was a really tough time for me.”
He was out from April 11-May 12 with decrease again soreness and once more June 14-July 25 with decrease again irritation.
Moncada rebounded after coming back from the second IL stint, slashing .280/.323/.430 with two house runs and 12 RBIs in August and .298/.344/.560 with six house runs and 12 RBIs in September.
“Once I started getting better and stronger, I felt much better and I felt good,” Moncada stated. “That was why I was able to finish the way that I did and that’s how I feel right now.”
The 28-year-old is aiming to make use of that late-season bounce again as a springboard for 2024.
“He feels great, the back feels great, he’s motivated,” supervisor Pedro Grifol stated. “He’s going to get to spring coaching early on the thirty first of January or first of February, which is a superb signal and he’s going to place himself able to have a terrific yr. We want Moncada.
“He’s motivated to having a full season under his belt, which is good for him.”
Moncada slashed .260/.305/.425 with 11 house runs and 40 RBIs in 2023. After showing in 144 video games in 2021, Moncada performed 104 video games in 2022 and 92 in 2023.
His offseason work has included strengthening his abs, again and legs to “get all that core really strong,” he stated.
“The way I’m preparing myself for this coming season is to play 202 games,” Moncada stated, when requested about trying to play as near 162 video games as potential. “That’s an exaggeration, however that’s how I’m making ready myself.
“I want to be healthy. I want to be on the field every day.”
Moncada stated he’s motivated and excited as a result of he’s wholesome.
“That’s the only thing I want — if I’m healthy, I know I can do a lot of good things in the field,” Moncada stated. “I’m excited proper now to get to spring coaching and begin working.
“I think God has saved something good for me. Hopefully we are going to see that. Hopefully I’ll be able to be healthy and really show and really display all I can do on the field.”
Moncada’s greatest season was in 2019, when he established profession highs in a number of classes, together with OPS (.915), doubles (34), house runs (25) and RBIs (79). He signed a five-year, $70 million extension in March 2020 — a deal through which the Sox maintain an choice for $25 million in 2025 with a $5 million buyout.
The stable defensive third baseman is aware of he’ll be fielding questions from reporters in regards to the future.
“I would love to stay with the White Sox if they want me here,” Moncada stated. “I’m very thankful for the White Sox for the opportunity they have given me after I was traded from the Red Sox (in December 2016). They’ve been treating me very well. I like the organization, I like the city, I like the fans. I would like to stay here.”