Yoán Moncada sprinted to first base during a workout Thursday morning at Guaranteed Rate Field.
A few moments later, Moncada raced from first to third. Eventually, Moncada headed to home plate.
The Chicago White Sox third baseman, who is recovering from a right oblique strain, is looking forward to the chance to run — and hit — in a game this weekend when he begins a rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte.
“I am feeling much better,” Moncada said Wednesday through an interpreter. “I thank God. I’m going to start playing in Charlotte and see how it goes. But I’m feeling pretty good.”
Moncada is slated to play for the Knights on Saturday. The Sox will be patient with his return his.
“He’s been swinging really well here, so he may come out there and just (have) 15 at-bats and look like he’s ready,” Sox manager Tony La Russa said Wednesday. “But it may take him 25, no way to predict it.
“It’s always a mistake to bring a guy up to the big leagues before he’s ready. Because he’s going to struggle and then he’s got to get out of the struggle. It’s better to come in here ready to play.”
Moncada suffered the injury during the final day of spring training in Glendale, Ariz. The Sox placed him on the injured list April 5.
The switch hitter said he felt the impact of the injury mostly when swinging from the left side.
“I felt it sometimes when I was playing defense, when I moved to the right side,” Moncada said. “But it’s mostly in my swing. Right now, I feel much better. I don’t feel anything when I’m fielding and just a little bit when I hit. It’s not a big deal right now.”
Moncada slashed .263/.375/.412 with 33 doubles, 14 home runs and 61 RBIs in 144 games in 2021.
“For me personally, it’s been very, very difficult not being able to be on the field and helping the team, especially this month,” he said. “But there’s just so little I can do and I’m doing everything I can to get ready to come back and help the team.
“(I’ve been) just cheering up the guys, trying to motivate them. At the same time, even though I’m sidelined, I’m working to join them and to help them too.”
Injuries have hampered the Sox early this season, with left fielder Eloy Jiménez (torn right hamstring) among the latest.
“It’s very hard, honestly,” Moncada said. “It’s hard to see that unfortunate situation that he has been put into last year (missing almost four months with a ruptured left pectoral tendon) and now this year again.
“But there’s so little you can control in this game. You try to do your best, try to be prepared every day and stuff like that happens. I am hoping he’s going to come back stronger, and he knows that everybody here wishes him the best.”
Starting pitcher Lance Lynn could be back by late May, La Russa said Thursday. The right-hander had right knee surgery to repair a torn tendon after suffering an injury during a Cactus League game.
The Sox received good news Friday as center fielder Luis Robert returned to the starting lineup. He had been out since suffering a groin strain during an April 21 game at Cleveland.
“Trending in the right direction,” La Russa said of Robert’s return and Moncada’s rehab assignment.
Reliever Joe Kelly (right biceps nerve injury) is expected to be in Charlotte this weekend with Moncada.
“I’m excited to be able to start playing again,” Moncada said. “I was wishing for that for several weeks and now I’m going to start, so that’s good.”