Still feeling oblique discomfort, no timetable for Yoan Moncada’s 2022 White Sox debut

There is still no timetable for when third baseman Yoan Moncada will return to the White Sox lineup.

Before Saturday’s game, Sox manager Tony La Russa said Moncada is still feeling some discomfort when he makes certain moves in the field. Placed on the 10-day injured list with a right oblique strain, Moncada hasn’t played in a regular-season game this year.

And it’s unclear when he will, even if La Russa said Moncada is getting better.

“He’s going to have to be able to go full-bore with the swings, workouts and running before you can realistically say hey, how about X days from now,” La Russa said. “As long as he’s got discomfort, not even thinking about it.”

Without Moncada, the Sox had gone with Jake Burger (five starts) and Josh Harrison (two) at third before using Leury Garcia on Saturday. Burger, whom La Russa called “our hero” as he walked by the pregame media briefing, had a home run and run-scoring single in Friday’s 3-2 win.

Hitting sixth, Garcia entered Saturday 1 for 20, but 5 for 12 lifetime against Tampa Bay starter Corey Kluber.

“[Garcia] got off to a slow start last year, too,” La Russa said. “He’s got enough track record where you know what he’s going to do.”

Last April, Garcia hit .207 before ending the year at .267.

The best around
La Russa has only been around Tim Anderson for little over a season, but he has high praise for the Sox shortstop, whom he called a “spiritual leader” on the team.

“There is no better shortstop in baseball,” La Russa said before Friday’s game. “Not to be disrespectful. There are some you can put right next to him.”

La Russa credited the Sox organization for developing Anderson and the scouts who recognized his talent despite his somewhat limited baseball experience prior to getting drafted in 2013. La Russa also said Anderson stresses the role third base coach Joe McEwing has played in his growth.

“I walked into that situation,” La Russa said. “I appreciate it and I enjoy it. I feel very fortunate to be a teammate of his for a year and a month.”

Good first impression
The Sox gave reliever Kendall Graveman a three-year, $24 million deal. So far, they have no buyer’s remorse, as Graveman entered Saturday’s game with 5 2/3 scoreless innings and a minuscule 0.35 WHIP.

La Russa said Graveman can face both right- and left-handed hitters, has three or four ways to get outs and has great command. The veteran Graveman, La Russa said, is smart about how his delivery needs to be and the pitches he has to attack opponents.

“Just a great addition,” La Russa said.

Busy times for Pollock
Sox outfielder AJ Pollock and his wife Kate welcomed their second child, and La Russa said the birth went “really, really” well. As for his baseball prognosis, La Russa said Pollock is up to 80 or 85% and should be headed to Triple-A Charlotte on a rehab assignment to regain his timing.

Pollock (strained right hamstring) was placed on the 10-day IL on April 12, retroactive to April 10.

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