Yoan Moncada

Pedro Grifol sees positive side of Yoán Moncada's back injury

Moncada is nursing lower back inflammation he's been battling since spring training

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Yoán Moncada is heading to the White Sox' injured list for the second time this season with the same injury.

He spent time on the IL from April 12 to May 10, citing lingering back pain as the reason for his absence. On Thursday, the White Sox placed him on the 10-day injured list for the same reason.

Back during Moncada's first injured list stint, Rick Hahn described the injury as a protruding disc. His placement on the injured list the first go-around was a recovery for the rest he should've taken during spring training -- when he was feeling back pain then, too. Now, it's a growing concern.

It's reasonable to grow frustrated seeing Moncada unable to fix his back ailment. Nevertheless, Pedro Grifol is optimistic.

"I don't know if it's tough news or not," Grifol said before Thursday's game. "It might be good news. He takes a little bit of a break and I want to see him play without any pain.

"The most important thing right now is him playing without the worry 'My back hurts.' Or how am I gonna feel today? I just want him to go out there and be pain-free and just go play. He hasn't done that this year yet.

"Once in a while he'll show you something really, really good. Other times he can't do it."

Fortunately for the White Sox, they have a formidable replacement in Jake Burger. Burger has been a power-hitting machine for the White Sox. He hit two home runs against the Dodgers on Wednesday, shoving them into a hard-fought victory over one of MLB's best.

Burger's sporting a .600 slugging percentage as of this writing; that value is better than the likes of Freddie Freeman, Ronald Acuna Jr., J.D. Martinez, and plenty of other elite bats. He has 15 home runs and 35 RBIs this season.

Moncada -- while owning a far more pristine glove at third base than Burger -- hasn't been the dominant force Burger has been at the plate. Moncada's batting .232/.279/.370 this season with just three home runs and 13 RBIs.

Moncada's move to the injured list -- sadly -- opens up more opportunities for the Sox to take advantage of their designated hitter spot. That's assuming Burger becomes the everyday third baseman once Moncada hits the injured list.

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