When Yoan Moncada doubled off Jason Vargas in the fifth inning, it was actually kind of important. No, it didn’t have much impact on the outcome, but it was a slight sign of progress for Moncada.
It was just his fourth hit of the year against southpaws, something that will need to improve for the switch hitter.
“I feel good batting right-handed,” Moncada said through a translator. “I haven’t faced as many left-handed pitchers as right-handed. I’m feeling good.”
Regardless of where he’s hitting, pitchers have been attacking Moncada with off-speed stuff. They know he can hit fastballs, but he likely won’t see many until he shows he can lay off junk.
“My focus is try to hit a good pitch, a pitch that is in the strike zone. Your first approach is always for a fastball,” Moncada said. “But when you see a breaking pitch or an off-speed pitch, you have to make an adjustment.”
This season has been difficult for Tim Anderson. He’s experienced tragedy away from the game and struggles on the field. Recently, he has shown signs of turning the corner on the diamond.
Anderson ripped his 13th homer, a two-run shot off Vargas, in the fifth, and is hitting .320 with three homers over his last six games.
“I’ve just been doing my homework on these guys and kind of understanding what they’re going to do to me,” Anderson said. “I’ve learned over the last couple months, and have been feeling like myself lately.”
And there’s still plenty of power development ahead.
“I’m not fully developed. The power’s going to come,” Anderson said. “As I continue to put good swings on balls, hopefully they keep carrying.”
The waiting game
Matt Davidson can do everything you need to do to play baseball. Except for one important part.
“I can do pretty much everything except swing. I’m working out, running, taking ground balls and standing in on bullpens and stuff like that,” Davidson said. “Just trying to do as much as I can and doing some front-arm with my lead [left] hand, hitting off the tee and flips. But that’s about it.”
Davidson (right wrist contusion) had hoped to be ready for the Dodgers series that starts Tuesday in Los Angeles but will only accompany the team to the West Coast so he can continue working. Then he likely will head to Class AAA Charlotte on a rehab assignment.
“It hasn’t been getting too much better, so we’re going to re-evaluate the next couple days and then go from there,” Davidson said. “The good thing is, the doctors say that one day you’ll just kind of wake up and it’ll be gone.”
Davidson said everything is fine structurally.
Nicky Delmonico continued his strong start by going 1-for-3 with a walk and a hit-by-pitch. He extended his hitting streak to 10 games and got on base for the 12th consecutive game.
Delmonico also came within inches of his second career home run, but Alex Gordon made a leaping grab in deep right-center field to end the game.
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