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Yoan Moncada closing in on return from hamstring injury

The third baseman’s recovery continued Saturday with an intense workout that included batting practice and fielding ground balls.

Yoan Moncada hits an RBI double against the Twins on July 27 at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Yoan Moncada hits an RBI double against the Twins on July 27 at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Third baseman Yoan Moncada’s recovery from a strained right hamstring continued Saturday with an intense workout that included batting practice and fielding ground balls.

Neither Moncada nor manager Rick Renteria offered a timetable for his return, but they agreed he’s moving in the right direction.

“I’ve been feeling better, way better,” Moncada said. “I still have some discomfort, just a little bit, not a big deal. But, thank God, I’ve been feeling very good. I wouldn’t say 100 percent but much better.”

Moncada suffered the injury while making a difficult play on a ground ball against the Mets on July 30. He had experienced tightness before the game but decided to play through it.

The White Sox moved him to the injured list two days later.

Moncada said the pain primarily pops up while playing defense and charging for balls in front of him. He said there’s some pain when he bats from the right side but none from the left.

“He’s still feeling it a little bit, but it’s not so much from the first step,” Renteria said, “which is a good thing. Normally, if you’re still bothered by something, it’s right out of the get-go with the first stride. His is more just mild stamina. After the second or third step, you feel a little tightness or tiredness, and I think that’s something he’ll be able to work through.”

Moncada said he doesn’t have a specific routine to help him maintain his timing when he returns. Right now, he said, he’s just doing what the team tells him.

“Keep working,” he said. “Keep working until I feel 100 percent. Hopefully, I will be able to come back pretty soon.”

All eyes on Eloy

The Sox gave away Eloy Jimenez bobbleheads Saturday to commemorate his first major-league home run on April 12.

Jimenez was thrilled with it — particularly the red batting gloves on the figurine’s hands.

“Really cool,” Jimenez said. “It’s my first with the red batting gloves, and I think that’s cool.”

Jimenez could use the good vibes to help him out of a slump since returning from the injured list two weeks ago.

In his first 12 games back, Jimenez had a .192/.208/.269 hitting line and walked once in 53 plate appearances.

“I am really close,” Jimenez said. “I don’t feel 100 percent yet with the timing, but I know it’s coming.”

Jimenez came through on his bobblehead night with his 19th home run in the fifth inning off Tanner Roark.

Harold Baines Day

The Sox will host Harold Baines Day at Guaranteed Rate Field to honor the newly inducted Hall of Famer on Sunday.

Baines will be honored on the field before the series finale against Oakland with special guests Ozzie Guillen, Ron Kittle, Ken Harrelson, Jim Thome, Carlton Fisk, Tim Raines and Tony La Russa appearing.

The first 20,000 fans will receive a Baines replica Hall of Fame plaque.

Sox option Ruiz

The Sox optioned reliever Jose Ruiz to Class AAA Charlotte, likely clearing the way for Kelvin Herrera’s return. Herrera has been sidelined since June 20 with an oblique strain.