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Yoan Moncada Can’t Catch a Break from Umpires

by Joe Binder

It seems like every series now, there is at least one at-bat where Yoan Moncada strikes out looking. While I would normally get pretty frustrated at a guy for going down so often, I’ve found that this is not always the case with Moncada. Instead, some of that anger and frustration is because of the poor umpiring on display. Let’s be real, some of these strike-three calls have been absolutely ridiculous. We’ve seen numerous pitches run inside or low and not even be in the zone, yet they are called strikes on the guy. A prime example of this could be seen in today’s game. Here’s a GIF from the NBC Sports Chicago broadcast for you in case you missed it:

I mean, come on now. Even Corey Kluber stood there for a second to see if his catcher’s frame job would work. Home plate umpire Will Little bought it and Ricky Renteria was tossed as a result. Here’s another look at it, thanks to @WhiteSoxUmp:

This pitch was out of the zone by half a foot and the sad thing is, we’ve seen these kind of calls in several other series as well. For example, here’s one from the June 10th game vs. the Tigers. It’s another strike-three call on a pitch a good 5.9 inches from the edge of the zone. What should have been ball-four put Moncada on the bench, just like today.

A day earlier, Moncada was the victim on this pitch. It was close to the bottom of the zone but still low.

If we go back to the Minnesota series, C.B. Bucknor was just atrocious behind the plate for both sides and had three borderline strikeout calls on Moncada alone. The one, I admit, was probably too close for Moncada to take. However, the other two were not.

I know there have been instances in these same games where other players on both sides were affected by these bad calls. It’s just very frustrating for us to watch because Moncada seems like he’s always the reoccurring victim. A large part of this is because he’s a very selective hitter so we’re going to see him strikeout on close pitches.

The reason I wanted to bring this up was for one, I am tired of seeing these poor calls by umpires. And secondly, I felt the need to write this for all the fans who automatically call out Moncada as a bust and point to his high strikeout rate as the main reason. He is not a bust or whatever you want to call him for many reasons but in terms of strikeouts, as you can see, not every single one is entirely his fault. Now, I’m not trying to make excuses, per se, but provide other factors that play into some of these stats. Keep in mind too, Yoan’s not the finished product by any means and is still developing. Young players go through these rough stretches and slumps. Other highly touted players like Boston’s Rafael Devers and Atlanta’s Ozzie Albies have gone through them at certain points this season. It’s part of the game and part of the development process. Fans need to stay patient with Moncada because he still has a ton of potential to become a great hitter. He just needs time to figure things out and that’s what this season is about. I feel like patience is the motto of the rebuild and people are probably sick and tired of being told how to react but that’s all I’ve got for you right now. As for the umpires, there’s nothing Moncada can do about it except shake it off and go after the pitcher in his next at-bat.


Featured Image: Daniel Bartel/Icon Sportswire


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