At the moment, it does not seem as if there’s much reason to expect a lengthy absence for Moncada. He has been diagnosed with hamstring tightness, an issue that has forced him out of two recent ballgames. But Moncada said yesterday that he felt he’d only need a few days off, as James Fegan of The Athletic tweeted.
It’s certainly understandable that the Sox would take a conservative course with Moncada, who’ll turn 23 later this month. He’s off to a strong start, turning in 132 plate appearances of .263/.359/.509 hitting with six home runs and four stolen bases. Moncada has also graded as a positive overall with the glove and on the bases.
That output does come with a worrisome 37.1% strikeout rate for a player who’ll probably always swing and miss a fair bit. Though he’s also walking in 12.9% of his plate appearances, Moncada surely won’t maintain a .407 batting average on balls in play. Of course, it’s certainly worth noting as well that he’s legitimately stinging the ball when he does make contact, with a 95.0 mph average exit velocity that’s among the best in baseball.
The 24-year-old Rondon, meanwhile, will get his second crack at the majors after a brief call-up with the Padres in 2016. He has been off to a nice start at Triple-A, turning in a .290/.347/.473 slash, though he’s also striking out at a significantly higher rate (24.8%) than he has in prior seasons as a professional. Rondon came to Chicago in a swap with the Friars in January of this year.