Yoan Moncada continued his torrid start to the season, Carlos Rodon looked like an ace, and the White Sox lit up a shaky Corey Kluber in an 8-3 win this afternoon. Here are some of the highlights from a solid win today in Cleveland.
Yoan Moncada: 2-3, 2B, HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 0 K
It’s hard to be much hotter than Yoan Moncada has been to start this season. The new 3B has an outrageous .450/.522/.900 slash line to start this season, and has vastly improved the quality of his ABs. The most telling sign for me thus far were both of his hits today. Both came off of pitches he would not usually make hard contact off of last season, much less even swing at:
The circled two zones are the two zones in which the balls that Moncada hit for a 2B and HR today were located in. The above data is from 2018. So, in what seems to be a change in approach for Moncada, not only is he willing to swing at higher pitches more often this season, He is clearly hitting them hard and making solid contact. Improving upon a clear weakness for Moncada will be a clear step in the right direction for him.
Now, let’s look back at that home run; any objections?
Jose Abreu: 2-5, 2B, 1 R, 3 RBI
Consistently, consistency, consistency. Nothing new from Abreu, who has gotten off to yet another solid start with a .300/.364/.650 slash line.
Leury Garcia: 4-5, 3 R, SB, CS
Leury Garcia had a career day at the plate, getting 4 hits for the first time in his career. However, he once again struggled on the base paths, running himself into an out in the first inning. In terms of blunders made by the White Sox this season, it was far from the worst, but it was another example of some of the mental lapses the White Sox have been suffering this season.
Carlos Rodon: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 9 K
Rodon has looked absolutely dominant to start this season, continuing to develop into the ace form that White Sox fans had hoped he’d accomplish when he was drafted 3rd overall. He worked around some continued rough defensive plays in both the infield and the outfield, dominating all afternoon with his slider – a pitch he has thrown 6 percentage points more often to start this season as compared to 2018 (32% this year as compared to 26%). If Rodon can continue to throw his slider in all counts, look for this to be the year he finally reaches his draft pick potential.
Nate Jones: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 2 K
Jones continues to look incredibly shaky out of the bullpen to start this season. He gave up two more runs on three hits in just an inning of mop-up work, raising his ERA to begin the season to 16.20. The White Sox NEED Nate Jones to step up; odds are that Ricky would’ve turned to him (and NOT Dylan Covey) on Monday with the game on the line if he was his usual, dominant self. If Jones can’t step into the role, the White Sox will be forced to find other consistent options – they NEED some outside of Herrera and Colome.
The home opener was postponed from tomorrow afternoon until Friday afternoon at 1:10 CT. The probable starters for the games are Yusei Kikuchi (SEA) and Reynaldo Lopez (CHW).
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