White Sox Set Up Starting Infield While News of Manny Machado Lingers
By Matt Cizek
White Sox have begun switching things up during Spring Training in regards to their infield as they continue to wait for a decision from superstar free agent.
While the White Sox continue to go to battle behind the scenes for the rights to Manny Machado, their team prepares for the opening of spring training scrimmages in his absence. According to multiple sources, the infield lineup might look a bit different this year.
Daryl Van Schowen, White Sox beat writer for the Chicago Sun-Times, reports that as the White Sox get underway with full-squad workouts, they will be positioning Yoan Moncada at third base:
"“Moncada worked exclusively at third in morning infield drills Monday, with Yolmer Sanchez playing second. Sanchez, who can play third, second and shortstop, was the starting third baseman last season and looks like the second baseman for now.”"
If Moncada is to play third base, it will likely result in an infield featuring Yolmer Sanchez at second, and Tim Anderson at shortstop. The jury is still out as to whether Jose Abreu or Yonder Alonso will start at first base, but both would likely see action as whoever is not in the position seems destined for the designated hitter role.
Of course, based on that one big question mark that everyone keeps talking about (Machado), plans for the starting infield could still change. With the team looking to improve from a 100 loss season, Rick Renteria – as noted in Van Schouwen’s article – isn’t keen on waiting to find out what will happen:
"“I can’t worry about who’s not here. Right now the guys in that locker room are the ones I am focused on. We’re trying to make sense of how our roster will look with the guys we do have.”"
Scot Gregor of the Daily Herald points out that Sanchez’ switch to second base could be a short term solution.
"“Nick Madrigal is a solid bet to eventually occupy the position, but last year’s first round draft pick (No. 4 overall) isn’t expected to be ready for the major leagues until sometime in 2020.”"
Renteria has spoken highly of Sanchez’ ability as a second baseman, admitting:
"“Sanchy is a natural second baseman, but that doesn’t preclude him from being able to play other position as well…It’s so early in the spring right now, but we’ll see how it continues to play out.”"
Whoever their personnel may consist of, it looks like the White Sox will field some interesting lineups in the year to come.