Second baseman Yoan Moncada has been a bright spot in an otherwise dreary season for the White Sox, but for at least the next 10 days, he’ll be put on hold.
Before their 8-4 loss Saturday to the Twins, the Sox put Moncada on the disabled list because of tightness in his left hamstring and recalled infielder Jose Rondon from Class AAA Charlotte.
Moncada, who didn’t play Thursday against the Twins, left Wednesday’s game in St. Louis and Friday’s against Minnesota, and the Sox decided to be careful with their prized asset.
Manager Rick Renteria said the team is optimistic the issue won’t flare up later but can’t be assured of that. There doesn’t seem to be an issue with muscle tissue based on an MRI that came back clean.
It would help, though, if Moncada developed more flexibility and strength to go with a body Renteria said has about 4 percent body fat.
“He’s never experienced it before,’’ Renteria said. ‘‘It’s new to him. It’s odd, but we’re going to deal with it very cautiously and proceed that way.
‘‘And I think that the organization’s doing the right thing by putting him on the disabled list right now and allowing it to settle down.”
The clean MRI was a relief.
“That’s good for us,’’ Renteria said. ‘‘And we’re just going to see if we can give him some time to strengthen, recover, see if we can get to the crux of what’s going on.
‘‘Maybe it’s just an anomaly, and hopefully he’ll be ready to go once he comes off this stint on the DL.”
Moncada, 22, is hitting .263 with six home runs and 15 RBI. His on-base percentage is a strong .359, and, according to Baseball Reference, he already has been worth 1.2 wins above replacement. His WAR last season was 1.7.
Renteria is hopeful that this setback won’t hurt Moncada’s momentum.
“We’re hoping it’s a very short period of time off,’’ Renteria said. ‘‘It doesn’t bother him when he swings the bat. There are a lot of things that he’s going to still be able to do in order to maintain his swing. So we’re not too concerned about that right now.
‘‘It’s a very short window that we’re looking at to allow him to get back on track physically so that he’s comfortable and he can go out there and do what he does.”
Moncada’s game is based on speed and athleticism. He has four stolen bases and is one of the most gifted athletes on the team, and the Sox don’t want him to sacrifice any of those qualities.
“It’s a part of who he is,” Renteria said. “We want to make sure that we’re guarded and that his legs are under the best condition possible. When you see him, he busts his rear end all the time. He’s hustling, running hard. We need to make sure that he’s capable of doing it consistently over an extended period of time.”
Rondon, 24, played 24 games in Charlotte, hitting .286 with four home runs.
“I just want to take advantage of this opportunity to establish myself at this level,” Rondon said, “and to just help this team in whatever capacity they need me to help them.”
Right now, that means contributing while the Sox take extra caution with one of their most important pieces.