Yoan Moncada has had to watch and learn this month. (Jake Roth/USA Today Sports)
BALTIMORE — Remember Yoan Moncada?
The last time we saw the rookie was during a Sept. 12, blowout victory over the Orioles which saw him get one at-bat to extend his streaking of striking out to nine straight plate appearances.
And it has now been three weeks since John Farrell proclaimed Moncada would be getting all the starts at third base against right-handed pitching. It was a strategy that lasted four games.
Now Moncada is left simply watching, a reality that doesn’t figure to be changing any time soon.
“I’m learning a lot. I haven’t been playing, but I’m just watching and learning as much as I can,” Moncada said through translator Daveson Perez. “It’s been a little hard just because I’ve been so used to playing. It’s not my call. It’s not my decision.”
Without a regular spot at third base, there simply doesn’t appear to be much opportunities for Moncada to find playing time in the middle of this pennant race. Even the pinch-running role seems to be a non-starter for the rookie, who has had multiple lapses on the basepaths. (He was picked off in Oakland, and forget the number of outs in Toronto.)
“I know it’s a tough situation for him to be in,” Farrell said. “You know you sit for six seven eight days and then all of a sudden you’re finding yourself in a major league game. All those experiences are going to be beneficial to him.
“If the opportunities present itself, we will. Nothing’s taken for granted here. And you know, seven days or so ago, winning is the precedent right now. Development is secondary.”
There does seem to be some payoff for Moncada during his time with the Red Sox. According to the infielder, the live the life of a major leaguer, even on the bench, has served a valuable purpose.
“The thing I’ve learned the most is the mental part of the game since being up here,” said Moncada, who is still slated to play in the Arizona Fall League next month. “I’ve learned you have to be mentally sharp and on top of that just continue the same routine every day, getting your early work in and maintaining your routine, being consistent.
“This has been a blessing just being here in the big leagues. It’s something I’ve always dreamed up. I’m just trying to pick up as much as I can for next year.”