Loud reception, modest production for Yoan Moncada as he begins his White Sox career
CHICAGO – Without hesitation, they rose to their feet.
The majority of the 24,907 were cheering when they did so as one of the new faces of their franchise showed his for the first time at Guaranteed Rate Field. With loud clapping and cheering, one might have compared it to a reception for a Buehrle, Konerko, or other franchise dignitaries.
Yoan Moncada got that for his first White Sox at-bat, because so many are hopeful that he will someday be in that category.
That’s the attitude around the franchise after a memorable 24 hours in which three core players – Todd Frazier, David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle – were dealt away to the Yankees for one major league pitcher and a trio of prospects.
It’s the second major trade made by general manager Rick Hahn in a week – stunning the fan base for a second time after shipping Jose Quintana to the crosstown Cubs for a quartet of prospects. But after the latter, the first part of this rebuilding finally saw the light of the big league team.
Moncada was called up immediately after the trade on Tuesday and arrived in Chicago soon after, getting a ride from the airport to the ballpark by teammate Jose Abreu. After a meeting with the players, coaches and the media, the No. 1 ranked prospect in MLB was put in the starting lineup at second base, batting sixth in the lineup.
His first at-bat reception was part of a flashy first day for Moncada, making it difficult or the infielder to top it with his play on the field. But he did what he could in his first MLB game since September 12th last season with the Boston Red Sox, drawing a walk and turning a double play in a 9-1 White Sox loss to the Dodgers in a rain-shortened eight inning game.
Moncada started off the game with that second inning at-bat well, rallying back from an 0-2 deficit to force a walk from Kenta Maeda. Two innings later, Moncada ended the frame with a groundout but he turned his first double play to end the sixth inning. The second baseman lined out in the bottom half of the inning and didn’t bat again as heavy storms caused the game to be ended in the 8th.
Yet Wednesday was all about beginnings. It was a modest one for Moncada, but like his call-up, it was memorable because it happened.