White Sox second baseman Yoán Moncada is “open to a position change,” according to comments made by GM Rick Hahn over the weekend. It appears to be something the club is considering as they head into their third rebuilding year, though Hahn noted that the decision would hinge on any pickups the club makes over the offseason.
It’s not the first time Hahn or Moncada has addressed the potential shift away from second base. After the 23-year-old infielder closed out his 2018 run with 21 errors and a .963 fielding percentage (eclipsed only by the Reds’ José Peraza and Red Sox’ Rafael Devers, the latter of whom committed 24 errors with a .926 fielding percentage), Hahn told reporters he believes Moncada’s athleticism will make him an “above-average defender at other positions.” Moncada himself said he’d be willing to move back to third base, a position he occupied during his rookie campaign with the Red Sox in 2016. There’s also a possibility that he could be considered at shortstop or center field, although he has yet to play either position at the major league level.
While Moncada’s defensive skills leave something to be desired, that isn’t necessarily the driving force behind a future position change. First-round draft pick and highly-touted middle infielder, Nick Madrigal, is considered a premier talent at second base and will likely command the position when he eventually works his way up to the majors. With Madrigal waiting in the wings, and notable free agents like Manny Machado and Daniel Murphy hitting the market this winter, it’s conceivable that the White Sox would want to transition Moncada to the hot corner sooner rather than later.
The postseason has a knack for finding unlikely heroes. Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki was 1-for-23 in the postseason entering Wednesday’s Game 2 of the World Series. The Nats and Astros each plated two runs in the first inning, then went otherwise scoreless through the sixth inning. In the top of the seventh, with Justin Verlander returning to the mound, Suzuki demolished a high, 1-0 fastball just below the train tracks in left field at Minute Maid Park, breaking the 2-2 tie.
Verlander proceeded to walk Victor Robles, prompting manager A.J. Hinch to take his veteran starter out of the game. Ryan Pressly came in to attempt to keep it a one-run game.
The underdog Nationals held on to defeat the Astros 5-4 in Game 1. Another victory by the Nats in Game 2 would put the Astros — heavy favorites according to oddsmakers — in a big hole.
Update: Pressly walked the first batter he faced, Trea Turner. Adam Eaton successfully sacrifice bunted both runners over. After Anthony Rendon flied out to shallow center field, Hinch decided to issue his team’s first intentional walk of the entire year to Juan Soto, loading the bases. Howie Kendrick then hit what appeared to be an inning-ending ground out, but Alex Bregman booted the ball as he moved to his left. Turner scored to make it 4-2. The floodgates opened when Asdrúbal Cabrera lined a single to center field, bringing home two more runs to pad the lead to 6-2. While pitching to Ryan Zimmerman, Pressly uncorked a wild pitch to allow the two base runners to advance. Zimmerman followed up with a slow roller down the third base line which Bregman barehanded and proceeded to throw away. Two more runs scored. 8-2. Yiiiikes, Astros.