NEW YORK — Yoan Moncada was scratched because of a sore right leg, and Jose Abreu was switched from first base to designated hitter because of a head cold as the White Sox opened a three-game series against the Yankees on Saturday.
Moncada felt something rounding first base during his last at-bat in the Sox’ 7-4 victory over the Royals on Thursday. Moncada pinch-hit in the eighth inning and struck out, and manager Tony La Russa said he expected him to play in one of the games in Sunday’s doubleheader.
“Moncada will be our bench strength,” La Russa said. “Want to make sure his legs are all right.”
“If I had to bet, he’d play the second game [Sunday]. He won’t play both.”
Moncada, didn’t play his first game of the season until May 9 because of an oblique strain suffered in spring training, has played in 10 games.
Abreu hit a three-run homer in the third inning and moved past Hall of Famer Eddie Collins and into sixth place in franchise history with 805 RBI. Hall of Famer Minnie Minoso is next with 808.
Anderson taking care
Tim Anderson had two stints on the injured list with hamstring problems last season. This season, it’s so far, so good.
“I feel good,” Anderson said Saturday. “I get what I need to take care of myself.”
That includes regular visits to the trainer’s room for maintenance.
“Like a pit stop,” Anderson said. “Got to go through it, get what you need and take care of your body. To be ready. I go to the training room a lot. I’m not afraid to go in there and tell them what I need. They’re in there to help.”
La Russa has been mindful of keeping Anderson fresh. During the five-game series in Kansas City, he rested Anderson in Game 2 of a doubleheader Tuesday. With a day off Monday, La Russa said Anderson probably will play both ends of the doubleheader Sunday against the Yankees.
Anderson said he took care of his legs last season but is more intentional about it this year.
“Not saying I didn’t take care of myself last year, but now I do a little more to stay within myself, try to stay feeling good every day,” he said. “I do recovery stuff at home. I just try to stay on top of it to try to prevent it. Taking care of the body, especially the legs.”
Cease: Rest is good
Dylan Cease’s normal turn would be Sunday on four days of rest, but he’ll get six days between starts if he faces the Red Sox, as expected, on Tuesday. Starters will get extra rest throughout the season when the time is right.
“I feel good about it,” Cease said. “It’s always nice to get rest when you can. I’m feeling good either way, but it’s smart to kind of strategically place it in there.”
Cease said he feels good now but said it’s “just smart to have it” for long-term benefits.
“There are the dog days of summer,” he said. “It’s good to find it when you can.”
The only drawback is “knocking off the rust, especially if it’s multiple times in a row, but it’s worth it,” he said.
Cease threw an “intense” bullpen session Saturday and said he would probably throw 10 or 15 pitches off a mound Monday for fine-tuning.
Bummer set for return
Aaron Bummer’s crisp sim inning in New York on Friday set the stage for a return from the injured list Sunday, the first day he’s eligible.
“We’re ready,” said Bummer, who is over discomfort in the back of his knee and hamstring.
Bummer, who has a 4.91 ERA with eight walks in 11 innings, used the time off to iron out some things, he said.
“Heavy focus on command of the fastball and keeping it down,” he said. “Keeping it simple, down to the basics.”
Michael Kopech, proud father of baby boy Vander, was in uniform with the team. Kopech is starting Sunday night.