J.B. Wendelken

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Yoan Moncada poised to make his first career start

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On the heels of his major league debut, Red Sox top prospect Yoan Moncada will make his first start with the team on Saturday against the Athletics. The 21-year-old infielder went 0-for-2 during Friday’s 16-2 blowout win in Oakland, drawing a walk against J.B. Wendelken and scoring a run on a Travis Shaw RBI double in the eighth inning.

With Moncada’s switch-hitting capabilities, the Red Sox will have another left-handed bat to balance out the lineup. Like fellow switch-hitter Sandy Leon, Moncada profiles better from the left side of the plate and will get the bulk of his starts against right-handed pitchers. Manager John Farrell also intends to pencil in third baseman Aaron Hill as a defensive option in later innings, supposedly with infielder Travis Shaw as a backup option.

It’s an accelerated timetable for Moncada, who spent just 45 games in Double-A Portland before getting the call, but the Red Sox are in no position to wait. They’ve been red-hot in the last week, taking three of their last five games with a cumulative 33 runs scored and currently sit two games up in the wild card race.

For some teams, September baseball brings the fevered excitement of a playoff run, while those who find themselves out of the running can take solace in the long-awaited debuts of top prospects. Right now, it looks like the Red Sox have the best of both worlds.