KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Switch-hitting third baseman Yoan Moncada says there’s nothing intricate or complicated about his improved numbers batting right-handed. He finds it amusing when he’s asked about it.
“I’m making better swings,” he said.
Better swings and more swings. It makes a difference.
“That’s the answer,” Moncada said. “If you don’t swing the bat, you’re not going to hit.”
White Sox manager Rick Renteria said the volume of plate appearances Moncada is building up is strengthening his eye for detection.
“His opportunity to face those guys as often as possible speeds up his process of maturing on the right-handed side,” Renteria said. “It really is experience. It’s recognizing pitches. It’s seeing on a daily basis the movement and action of the ball.”
Renteria then reminded listeners that hitting isn’t easy.
“He’s done a great job of adjusting,” Renteria said.
Batting right-handed, Moncada, 24, owned a .280/.330/.473 slash line with an .803 OPS in 100 plate appearances going into the Sox’ game Tuesday against the Royals. Last season, Moncada batted .209/.287/.297 with a .585 OPS against lefties, numbers that left some to wonder if he should give up switch hitting.
Three of Moncada’s 16 homers this season are right-handed. He has an equal amount of doubles (nine) from each side of the plate with 2½ times more plate appearances from the left side.
“I think he’s just scratching the surface,” Renteria said. “He’s coming along.”
A Sox-Royals series just isn’t the same without shortstop Tim Anderson. In fact, the Sox just aren’t the same, and not just because Anderson, according to Renteria, was an All-Star-caliber player during the first half.
“You miss his edge,” Renteria said. “He’s got an edge to him.”
Anderson (high right ankle sprain) has no timetable for a return, Renteria said, “but we hope this rest of the week puts him in a positive place, and then we’ll make a determination. It’s day to day in terms of how he’s feeling and the strength he’s developing to be able to put together a program for a rehab assignment.”
Renteria wasn’t specific about plans for Welington Castillo’s usage beyond saying he would catch Dylan Covey in the series finale Thursday afternoon. He and James McCann will probably get used in the designated-hitter role, too.
Castillo (oblique) was reinstated from the injured list after Zack Collins was optioned to Class AAA Charlotte after the game Monday.