Viciedo's second verse worse than first

Dayan Viciedo’s second big-league camp wrapped up on Thursday, and as far as follow-ups go, 2010 was “House Party 4” to 2009’s “House Party 3.”

  • 2010: 4-for-22, 0 XBH, 0 BB, 7 K
  • 2009: 6-for-26, 1 2B, 2 HR*

(*Going by memory, I thought he had one walk and seven strikeouts. So far, it’s unavailable.)
Along with the worsening numbers, he also became subject of a public scolding when he failed to run out a pop-up. But most disappointing to me was this nugget in a Joe Cowley article, which made me check the year the article was published:

What’s also impressive about the former Cuban standout is the fact that he recognizes that his lack of conditioning is something that has to be addressed.
”The No. 1 priority is staying in shape because everything else comes from that,” Viciedo said. ”That’s my No. 1 goal: getting and staying in shape.”

Unless I’m missing some unusually subtle Cowley sarcasm, this is bizarre, because I immediately thought of Ozzie Guillen’s quote from a Daily Herald story last spring:

“This kid never worked this hard in his life. We have a program he has to. He never had spring training like we do in major-league baseball. I don’t think they run and do things for 3-4 hours straight up doing stuff. It’s new for him and he should be tired, sore. No question about it. It’s the first time he’s done this.”

OK, but now this is the second time he’s done this, and he’s still noticeably overweight.  So, to review, we have a guy with a history of being out of shape who shows up to his second spring training with an even bigger muffin top, and somehow his self-awareness is “impressive?”
This ain’t exactly the way to enter a crucial year in which Viciedo has more on his metaphorical plate than he does on his cafeteria one.
He’s expected to start the year at Charlotte (he’s heading to Charlotte’s camp now, but he did the same last year and ended up in Birmingham).  It’ll be a tall task to handle Triple-A pitching when he was barely adequate Double-A, and spent the spring leaping out of his shoes at bad curve balls.  He’ll be learning a new position in the process.
And on top of that, it remains to be seen if he can last an entire year.  He seemed to tire in August last season, and had to leave the Arizona Fall League early with elbow soreness.
This isn’t writing off Viciedo, because he has the kind of bat speed and opposite-field power to wait back on those off-speed pitches that baffle him right now.  Still, if he looks that bad at the plate and worse in jeans, what exactly did he do all winter?  That’s what’s baffling me.
Hell, even Andruw Jones showed up ready to play.  He hit his first homer, and added a double and a walk as well, raising his Cactus League average to an even .400.  There are still plenty of reasons to doubt him, but there’s no knocking what he’s doing right now.
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While reading this story, I head-butted my dog so hard that we both screamed:

GLENDALE, Ariz. — There’s a great deal of life in everything Jake Peavy does, from playing the guitar to talking about his passion for the San Diego Chargers and the University of Alabama national champion football team.
Simply put, Peavy doesn’t do anything halfway. And his exemplary competitive fire shown on the mound stands as a staple of what makes him successful.

Peavy threw five good innings against the Dodgers, striking out six while allowing just five baserunners.  The damage was limited to a James Loney homer, after which Peavy engaged in self-reflexive profanity because it was on a 1-2 count.
Watching Peavy work should be a treat this year.  I’m overly pumped just thinking about it.
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More highlights from Wednesday’s 5-1 victory over Los Angeles:

  • Jones drove in four of the five runs.
  • Carlos Quentin and Paul Konerko had two hits apiece.
  • Matt Thornton, Tony Pena, Carlos Torres and Scott Linebrink each threw a scoreless inning.

Ramon Castro left the game after getting hit in the head with a pitch. He’s fine, as far as Ozzie Guillen knows:

“They don’t have an MRI machine big enough. They need like seven of those machines for his head.”

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Besides Viciedo, four more players departed big-league camp on Wednesday:

  • Jeff Marquez
  • Stefan Gartrell
  • Jason Botts (released)
  • Daniel Cabrera (released)

It looks like I was wrong by calling Cabrera the next John Van Benschoten, because Van Benschoten hung around the White Sox organization the entire year.  Cabrera couldn’t make it through the spring.
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Christian Marrero Reading Room:
*Bobby Jenks will try working from a windup over the last 2 1/2 weeks to aid his sore calf, which should be interesting.
*Gordon Beckham has been dealing with a sore shoulder that stems from not throwing as much in the offseason. First Jenks, now Beckham — doesn’t anybody want to have a catch anymore?
*J.J. Putz says he’s “89.4 percent” ready for Opening Day.
*The Cowley Turmoil Tour takes him to Freddy Garcia, and also back 1 1/2 years, as he implies the possibility of shenanigans when Garcia left Game 162 suddenly in 2008.

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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knoxfire30

Spring numbers are as close to meaningless as it gets, so I could care less about Viciedo at the plate during spring. And i’m really not that worried about what kind of shape he is in, because we have him thru age 20 to 26 or 27, its pretty darn hard to eat yourself out of the league by 27, and if you can hit does it really matter? Pablo Sandoval and Prince Fielder immediately come to mind as young guys who rake, so noone cares that their uniforms are just nicely hemmed tents.
Only thing that should worry anyone about viciedo is hustling, and adjusting to upper tier offspeed pitching.
Side note, Peavy is chomping at the bit to start this season, I love it!

ricksch

Though I realize I do this at my peril, I respectfully disagree with you Knox. Spring numbers may not matter for the Konerkos and the Buerhles, but they do for a guy like Viciedo who needs to start making an impression.
Viciedo is a highly paid professional athlete. Despite all of the top trainers and facilities he has at his ready disposal, he can’t even deal with getting himself in shape! There are dozens of nuances and skill sets that the player has to deal with to thrive in ML baseball. Viciedo has never begun to learn ANY of those things, because he hasn’t gotten past square one and shown up ready to play. The fact that he sought the services of scumbag pimp Scott Boras tells me he’s more worried about his next contract than anything that may be presently on his plate — so to speak.
Bottom line — Viciedo disgusts me and if he doesn’t start showing results within the first two-three months of Minor League ball, trade his fat greedy ass for a dozen donuts.

knoxfire30

Its not like viciedo is some weakling, the kid has massive god given power and physical ability, sure he isnt maximizing it by being overweight but i think that a much bigger concern for his 2nd contract not his first.
And I still hold by spring numbers being meaningless, cause he hit pretty decent for a 19/20 year old at AA last year, and the sox seem to care less about his performance this spring because they are bumping him up to AAA anyways.
Trading guys because your mad is never a good idea and it all but guarantees a poor return on investment.

ricksch

C’mon Knox, with your knowledge of the game you realize that the reasons Viciedo is getting the bump is because the Sox have to start seeing if he can start to compete regularly against the best competition they can put him up against while not dragging down the parent team. They also have to make it seem as though he’s making real progress, in case Kenny decides to deal the jelly roll.
I don’t get mad about baseball. It’s a fun pasttime and a game I used to love playing, but there’s way too many challeges in life to get stressed about a game.
Time will tell and I hope I’m wrong, but if it quacks like a duck, it’s usually a duck. The only hope is that he’s still young and can MAYBE change these bad habits. Kid probably needs some head therapy cause he’s his own worst enemy.
Still, we know this much about Viciedo. He’s a liability in the field. So how much are time and energy does a team invest in a one-dimensional player who has yet to prove he has some ability beyond what was god-given?

bigfun

“a one-dimensional player who has yet to prove he has some ability beyond what was god-given”
Maybe you weren’t reading Soxmachine last year, but Jim made a pretty compelling argument (based on numbers and his own scouting) that he HAS proven some ability:
https://soxmachine.com/soxmachine/2009/08/13/first-impression-dayan-viciedo/
Jim’s reservations above notwithstanding, I think we should keep in mind that what he did AA is a lot more relevant than spring training.

knoxfire30

The sox have a history of not bumping players, so they can repeat a level and dominate, we have seen this as recently as just last year with the peavy deal and dexter carter.
My main point was because of his 09 performance in AA, Viciedo was gonna be at AAA no matter what he did GOOD or BAD in spring training.
Viciedo is out of shape, he is bad in the field, he doesnt always hustle, and NONE of those things will prevent him from helping this team if he does what he was brought in to do, and thats MASH. All those other problems disapear if he just hits the crap out of the ball. Thats all anyone should be concerned about with Viciedo.
I hate guys not being in shape, I hate guys who dont hustle, and I hate guys who are basically one dimentional, but when that one dimension is huge pop from a run producer…. its all of a sudden ok

bigfun

Giving up on him that quickly would be pretty foolish. And he’s never going to see another contract from any team if he’s as lazy as you seem to be suggesting, so I wouldn’t worry about Boras just yet.
Jim, Gonzales was writing in late February that Viciedo showed up to camp “leaner” – so was he just mistaken about that?

ceverettsdinosaurs

I doubt the Sox will be trading Viciedo any time soon. As we’ve seen in the past, they have a history of keeping guys in lower minor league systems and letting them dominate lesser competition in order to showcase for trades (Dexter Carter comes to mind). I doubt the Sox would be aggressively pushing him through the system and seeing him struggle, albeit against advanced competition for his age, in order to simply trade him while his value is low. Kenny has shown a propensity for maximizing the value of minor league players in trades (Carter, Chris Young, etc.; Now if only we could get him to do the same at the major league level [Swisher]).

saltydog

Now that’s REAL ULTIMATE POWER!!!

conor

One time Jake Peavy popped a thousand boners and they all exploded AT ONCE. Then he wailed on his guitar and killed a country. I feel that deep down in my heart, Jake Peavy is my real father.

815sox

I agree with much said here. Spring numbers for the most part are indeed useless (though I think Jones numbers are really impressive and a very good sign). With Dayan the question is.. Does he not have the ability? Is he freaking out under pressure? Or does he not care, shit if I had 4 million I would be feeling pretty damn good. Of course he cannot return home to Cuba but you can live pretty comfortably with 4 million.

cushinglee

Here’s a question that should be asked: Is Viciedo overrated because of his Cuban background? If he had the same age and the same body shape and the same talent and his name was Fred Smith from Iowa, how would the Sox and Sox fans be feeling about him?

bigfun

Expectations would be lower because he would have (presumably) come through the draft, would not be on a major league deal, and there would be a less strict timeline for him to reach the majors.

Shinons

I think it’s extreme to be overly exasperated by a 20 year old’s dietary habits and lack of maturity. But I sure wouldn’t be heartbroken if it were he rather than Brandon Allen who got shipped to Arizona.
/still bitter

cushinglee

That’s the point I was trying to make. The White Sox seem to have done what a lot of teams have recently–overpaid for someone because he is Cuban (or Japanese) when there are several American players with the same skill set who can be gotten much cheaper.

bigfun

But those American players are within the draft system – it’s not like free agency.
You’re basically paying Viciedo like a top 10 draft prospect, which of course he isn’t in terms of skill. The cost is higher because he’s open to bidding from all 30 teams.
So yeah, you could avoid such players and not pay that premium and just stick with your domestic draft. But paying that premium is almost like getting an extra high-round draft pick in addition to your regular draft picks, which is extremely valuable. It’s a gamble, but the value is there.

bigfun

“paying Viciedo like a top 10 draft prospect”
Actually, somewhat less than this if he spends part or all of 2011 and 2012 in the majors, which he hopefully will.

ricksch

Here’s the scenario that gets me. Everyone knows that the weak link for the Sox this year is the DH position and their lack of power. If I’m a ballplayer with Viciedo’s skill, I have to be thinking, “I want to be the first call-up if the DH by commitee goes south and I’m going to make damn sure of it by being prepared.” Instead, he comes in fat, doesn’t hustle and stikes out 40% of the time with zero walks. Granted, 20ABs isn’t much of a sample, but clearly Guillen and Co. saw all they needed to see from him at this juncture.
Okay, he’s only 21 and can change, but seeing as how he appears to be caught in a self-destructive time loop, that doesn’t offer much comfort. And just so I’m clear, NO, I’m not saying let’s shitcan the kid immediately. That would be a ridiculous waste of money — though it’s not my dollar. Still, Viciedo needs a swift kick in the ass and should be put on the clock. If a career in ML baseball isn’t enough to motivate someone, they need to figure out another way to put the fear of God into this pup. Maybe a few weeks of dealing with the folks on this board would be the tonic he needs.

john

When asked about J.J. Putz only being 89.4% ready for the season, Jake Peavy took a baseball out of his locker and fired it in Putz’s direction while screaming, “WE DON’T DO ANYTHING AT 89.4% AROUND HERE!!!”