After returning from a thumb injury, Yoan Moncada is still working to rediscover the form that got him off to an outstanding start at Triple-A Charlotte.
The team’s top prospect has struggled since he returned to the Knights’ lineup on May 26. Moncada’s hitting just .153/.311/.271 with four extra-base hits and four RBIs in 74 plate appearances since he returned. The health of the No. 1 overall prospect in baseball is one of many players whose wellness general manager Rick Hahn discussed on Tuesday.
“It took a little bit,” Hahn said. “He was a little rusty when he got back. He’s fortunately pain-free, and we think with some padding issues with the batting glove, we’ve been able to resolve that from recurring. Although he initially was a little bit rusty, he has gotten back to form now in the last few days.”
In the 22 games leading up to his stint on the disabled list, Moncada hit .352/.412/.505 in 102 plate appearances. He didn’t play from May 16-26 and has only rediscovered his eye the last four games, walking seven times and striking out five.
Reliever Nate Jones will continue to be shut down for a few more days as symptoms of his right elbow neuritis still haven’t disappeared. Jones hopes to resume throwing in the next five days, though Hahn said he wouldn’t ramp up activity until after that. Shutdown since before the team began its last three-city road trip, Jones had a second MRI, which showed his previously repaired tendon is clean and strong, the reliever said. Still, Jones is being cautious after symptoms returned several weeks ago in his rehab.
“It started creeping back,” Jones said. “We decided it was better to get me back and not get halfway back and have to deal with it the whole season. We got out in front of it and got shut down for a little bit and hoping that helps and that works.
“We had thrown four or five, six bullpens and the symptoms weren’t going away.”
Hahn said Zach Putnam (right elbow inflammation) has had trouble becoming pain-free but is “climbing.” If everything works out, Putnam could throw again starting this weekend, Hahn said.
Tyler Saladino’s sore back has improved — he took grounders on Tuesday — and the hope is he could head to Arizona while the team is on its upcoming road trip to continue his rehab.
Outfielder Charlie Tilson (torn hamstring, sore foot) has made steady progress as he rehabs at the club’s Arizona facility. Tilson has appeared in “controlled environment intrasquad games” with the belief he could start a rehab assignment at the end of June or by early July.
Late June could also see the return of Carlos Rodon, who is scheduled for a third rehab start later this week at Charlotte. Hahn made it sound as if Rodon could be headed for a fourth rehab start after which the White Sox would determine the left-hander’s next course of action. Rodon also started in a pair of simulated games in Arizona before he began his assignment.
“He’ll certainly have the one that is coming up here, and there may well be another one after that,” Hahn said. “Then we’ll decide what’s next for him.”