The Chicago White Sox are off to a sluggish start in the 2022 season. Their 10-13 record has them behind the Minnesota Twins early on in the AL Central and coming off a poor month of April, Chicago needs to pick it up in May.
The biggest reason this team struggled to win ballgames in April is the offense. The White Sox are ranked 26th in the league in runs scored with 75 compared to the league-leading Los Angeles Angels at 102. The team is only slugging .350 which currently ranks 20th in MLB.
On top of a struggling offense, injuries have been a big issue this season again. Eloy Jimenez will be out until about late June, Luis Robert and Giolito have both missed time as well. Fortunately, the team has some key pieces returning to the team very soon.
The biggest key, will be the return of third baseman Yoan Moncada. The starting third basemen for the White Sox has been on IL with an oblique injury since late in spring training.
Moncada is currently in Triple A Charlotte on a rehab assignment. He has hit a home and a couple singles in 3 games with the Knights. There is not any official word on when Moncada is returning to the big league roster, but it seems likely it can happen later this week to early next week.
Another huge struggle for the White Sox this year has been shaky defense. The White Sox have 21 errors in 22 games played this season. Moncada should be a big help defensively when he returns, which will lead to less errors in the infield. This is a no brainer, Moncada is mostly known for his defensive prowess these days. Nonetheless, Moncada should be a big boost to the White Sox offense for various reasons.
Moncada is a switch hitter, which will really benefit the White Sox when facing right handed starting pitchers to have another lefty in the lineup. The team has struggled immensely to produce runs against right handed pitchers, Moncada should help change that.
The White Sox offense also has trouble working walks and being patient at the plate. This is something Moncada does very well. In 2021, Moncada drew 84 walks, which is the most walks he’s ever had in his career. He batted .263 last season with an OBP of .375. Getting runners on base is something the White Sox desperately need more of this season, and Moncada is likely to do just that.
It is not known where Manager Tony La Russa plans to slot him in the lineup once he returns, but the best bet would be at the top of the lineup once he gets settled in, simply because he gets on base and it would lead to more runs being scored for the team.
In other news, reliever Joe Kelly is also down in Triple A doing a rehab assignment of his own and he should also be joining the White Sox fairy soon. Andrew Vaughn who injured his wrist after getting hit by a pitch against the Angels, is also expected to return soon after x-rays thankfully came back negative on his wrist.
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