Yoan Moncada isn’t abandoning his post at second base anytime soon, but comments from White Sox GM Rick Hahn on Saturday indicated that a switch to the outfield might not be out of the question:
Echoing Hahn’s comments, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported that the team is “100 percent committed to keeping Yoan Moncada at second base,” per an anonymous team source. The 21-year-old isn’t a stranger to switching things up on the field, and was stationed at third base with the Red Sox for a short-lived stint in the majors last season. In a best-case scenario, he might do for the White Sox what Mookie Betts did for the Red Sox after successfully making the shift to center field in 2014, though Moncada has no proven experience (in the major leagues or otherwise) in the outfield to date.
No matter where he ends up, however, the White Sox appear to be taking things slowly with their prized prospect. Per Cafardo’s report, he’ll begin the year in Triple-A Columbus and work on refining his defensive skills before the club permits another jump to the big leagues.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.