NEW YORK — While his hitting has been a bright spot during a dark start for the White Sox, Yoan Moncada’s adjustment to full-time employment at third base is a work in progress.
Moncada has made his share of excellent plays at his new position, but a number of his throws across the infield on routine plays have made first basemen Jose Abreu and Yonder Alonso dance around the bag.
“Sometimes I feel uncomfortable,’’ Moncada said. “I know my footwork is not there. But I’m working on it, and I know it’s something that will be there. It’s only a matter of more reps, to keep working at that, and I’m going to be much better.’’
Moncada made 21 errors at second base last season and had made three at third. He entered the Sox’ game against the Yankees on Friday batting .319 with three homers and was tied for third in the American League with 13 RBI.
Like everyone else, Moncada has no use for cold weather, and the Sox have played in mostly cold or damp — or both — conditions.
“It doesn’t affect me, no, not at all,” he said. “But I don’t like to play in cold weather. I’m waiting for it to warm up; that will make me more comfortable.”
Osich joins the bullpen
Left-hander Josh Osich was recalled from Class AAA Charlotte, two days after rookie lefty Caleb Frare was sent there after a rough debut.
“It’s nice being back, having a new opportunity with a new team,” said Osich, 30, who had a 5.01 career ERA in four seasons with the Giants.
Righties have hit .294/.384/.496 against him compared to .228/.319/.388 for lefties, so he figures to be used primarily in matchup situations as a lefty specialist.
“I’m ready for whatever they need,” Osich said.
Osich allowed one run in four appearances with Charlotte.
“I’m getting ahead of guys, which is helping a lot,” he said. “It always makes the battle a lot easier. I’m throwing everything for strikes.’’
Righty Nate Jones pitched Saturday, Monday and Wednesday without allowing a run, dropping his ERA from 16.20 after his first three appearances to 5.40. Jones struck out five, allowed one hit and walked two over his last three appearances, one of them for four outs, and might be nearing pitching in back-to-back games — which he hasn’t done since last season, including spring training.
“He’s throwing very well and showing signs that ‘Old Nate’ is coming back,’’ manager Rick Renteria said. “The numbers look better, but the confidence level is coming back. He’s throwing with more conviction; he has gotten up to 95 [mph], so he’s inching upward. More than anything, he has the confidence to make pitches and trust his stuff.’’
Daniel Palka was out of the lineup against Yankees lefty J.A. Happ, needing a pinch-hitting opportunity to possibly snap his 0-for-27 slump to start the year.
“The only one who can put him back on track is Daniel,” Renteria said. “It’s approach-driven, to make sure he gets pitches he can handle. All the clubs have looked at him and decided to attack him a certain way. His swing is fine; it’s a matter more of pitch selection.”
Palka led the Sox with 27 homers as a rookie in 2018.