Moncada expected to play in opener
Manager Rick Renteria said Tuesday that third baseman
Yoan Moncada is expected to be in the lineup when the White Sox open the regular season Friday against the Twins at Guaranteed Rate Field.
On the morning after he played in his first game of summer camp against the Cubs, Moncada faced numerous pitchers in simulated game action and took ground balls at third, where he shook off some rust and made three good plays on sharply hit grounders Monday.
Moncada, who batted .315/.367/.548 with 25 home runs in 132 games last season, had missed most of camp after testing positive for the coronavirus during the intake process.
‘‘I would anticipate that he will be there, unless there’s some unforeseen situation that arises,” Renteria said after watching Moncada work. ‘‘I think he’s going to be good enough to be with us.’’
Facing right-handers Dylan Cease and Reynaldo Lopez and left-hander Gio Gonzalez, among others, Moncada took plenty of swings, especially left-handed. Results were mixed, with the highlight being a homer to right against Cease.
Moncada had an RBI single among his three at-bats against the Cubs.
Mazara out for fourth day in row
Right fielder Nomar Mazara was sidelined for the fourth consecutive day, but he hasn’t been ruled out for the opener. Renteria, who has said in recent days that Mazara was ‘‘under the weather,’’ said he wasn’t concerned about Mazara’s availability.
‘‘Not yet, not yet,’’ Renteria said. ‘‘But he is still a little under the weather. As soon as I have more information on how he’s doing, if we can share, we will.
What I can share, we will.’’
While feeling ill raises unique concerns during a pandemic, it’s also premature to draw conclusions.
Adam Engel and Leury Garcia started in right field in the exhibition games against the Cubs on Sunday and Monday.
The Sox acquired Mazara, 25, in an offseason trade with the Rangers for outfield prospect Steele Walker. Mazara hit .268/.318/.469 with 19 homers last season.
Getting to 30
Renteria said 15 or 16 pitchers will make the 30-man Opening Day roster, probably putting right-handed prospects Jimmy Lambert and Dane Dunning in good positions to make it. Hardthrowing right-handed prospect Codi Heuer also has pitched well in camp.
‘‘We have a pretty good idea [how the roster will shake out],’’ Renteria said. ‘‘[Wednesday] should be a pretty exciting day for a couple of guys, possibly, and then just solidifying the 30 that are going to break.’’
Taking a knee
No Sox players or coaches knelt during the national anthem Sunday and Monday, but Renteria said he would ‘‘stand by whatever my players decide that they want to do’’ when he was asked about some Giants kneeling Monday.
‘‘I’ll respect it,’’ Renteria said. ‘‘And I think it’s about time that we start talking about getting together, coming together.
Anything we can do that is not divisive is probably a helpful thing. Some people may take whatever actions people take as a divisive action, but I don’t see it that way.’’
This and that
Left-hander Carlos Rodon will start the exhibition game Wednesday against the Brewers.
The morning workout after the night game Monday was optional for many players. Thursday will be a day off in advance of the opener.
Sox third baseman Yoan Moncada went 1-for-3 in an exhibition game Monday against the Cubs. He missed most of summer camp after testing positive for the coronavirus.