Manager Rick Renteria said Moncada could play some third base in spring training, Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Renteria apparently talked to Moncada about playing third base in 2018, and the 23-year-old was open to it. While the added positional flexibility won't hurt, Moncada figures to provide more fantasy value as a second baseman. The 23-year-old hit .235/.315/.400 with 17 homers and 12 steals across 149 games last season.
Moncada went 2-for-5 with two doubles in Saturday's 8-3 loss to the Twins. The doubles give Moncada 31 for the season, and he becomes the fifth White Sox player aged 23-and-younger to record 30 or more doubles, 15 or more home runs and 60 or more RBI in a single season. His strikeout totals have rightfully made headlines -- he has an MLB-leading 216 strikeouts and a 33.4 K percentage -- but Moncada is finishing out the season with momentum. He's batted .300 (36-for-120) while dropping his strikeout rate to 28.2 percent over his last 31 games.
Moncada is not in the lineup for the first game of Friday's doubleheader against the Twins, Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Moncada takes a seat for the matinee as right-hander Jose Berrios heads to the mound for Minnesota. Leury Garcia will start at second base and bat second in his absence.
White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said Moncada has the ability to defend at positions other than second base, Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. "He has the athleticism also to be an above-average defender at other positions too. It's a subject for further conversation," said Hahn. The notion of moving Moncada doesn't come out of nowhere. While in Boston's organization, he played third base and was promoted to the majors at that position. Additionally, because the White Sox used the fourth overall pick in the 2018 draft to select Nick Madrigal, a second baseman with shortstop skills, the team may eventually have to create room in the middle infield. Moncada would be more valuable as a middle infielder, but the 23-year-old's bat should play as a corner infielder or outfielder, his .233 batting average this season notwithstanding.
Moncada is not in the lineup Monday against Cleveland. Moncada will sit for the second time in September. Yolmer Sanchez will slide over to second base in his absence, with Jose Rondon at third base.