Ready or not, here comes Viciedo

It looks like we have our answer on why Brent Morel played shortstop in a game last week.
Dayan Viciedo is joining the big league club, taking the spot of the freshly DFA’d Jayson Nix:

CHICAGO — The Chicago White Sox will call up rookie Dayan Viciedo, they announced after Thursday’s 5-4 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Infielder Jayson Nix was designated for assignment.
Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said at his postgame news conference he and GM Kenny Williams needed to talk about playing time for the 21-year-old Cuban slugger, but his first start wouldn’t come Friday against Washington Nationals rookie phenom Stephen Strasburg.
“Viciedo’s got to wait,” Guillen said. “I’m going to pick a spot to see who’s pitching and the matchup and play him. Obviously he’s not playing tomorrow. I don’t want to have him remember his first game of his career against that kid.”

This move makes sense, although Viciedo will probably be used sparingly due to his present inability to hit righties:

  • vs. LHP: .365/.426/.800, four walks over 55 ABs.
  • vs. RHP: .268/.298/.443, four walks over 183 ABs.

But really, hitting lefties is all they need Viciedo to do, and even if he’s not ready, he’d be hard-pressed to hit them worse than Nix did.  The Shetland Pony was just 2-for-28 against southpaws, which made him useless.  He hadn’t played well at third, so if “versatility” was the only thing he offered, Omar Vizquel and Brent Lillibridge can easily handle his duties.

The Sox have been aggressive with Viciedo, perhaps overly so.  He likely wasn’t polished enough to start 2009 in Double-A, and didn’t hit well enough to deserve a promotion to Charlotte based on numbers.  His first month at Triple-A didn’t do anything do dissuade doubters, but to his credit, he’s finding a way to hack happily over the last month and a half.
This promotion continues that trend of throwing him in the deep end, but at least they picked as favorable of a time as possible.  It will be nearly impossible for him to be an offensive downgrade, and considering the way Teahen and Nix played the hot corner, his awful range just may go unnoticed.
Chances are, we may not see much of them early on.  The Sox will face lefties on Sunday (Siena Saint John Lannan) and probably Ted Lilly on Friday.  In between?  All righties.
Let’s just hope the Sox keep a very tight leash on him.  If he’s leaping out of his shoes on changeups like he was in the spring, he’ll provide less value than Nix.  And even Nix would say that’s hard to do.
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Minor league roundup:

  • Charlotte 9, Rochester 2
    • Viciedo went 2-for-5 with a homer and three RBI in his final Triple-A game (for now).
    • Brent Morel had two singles in four at-bats and scored three runs.
    • Jordan Danks went 1-for-4 with a solo homer and a strikeout.
    • Tyler Flowers went 0-for-4, but no strikeouts!
    • Jeff Marquez survived a lot of baserunnings allowing two runs on six hits and four walks over six innings. He struck out just one.
    • Erick Threets threw two scoreless innings, lowering his ERA to 0.68.
  • Jacksonville 6, Birmingham 5
    • Christian Marrero went 2-for-4 with a double and a walk.
    • Nice game for Jim Gallagher, who went 3-for-3 with two doubles, a walk and a sac fly.
    • C.J. Retherford singled and doubled over five at-bats.
    • Justin Edwards allowed five of his six in the first inning, settling down for this line: 5 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 3 K.
  • Frederick 6, Winston-Salem 3
    • Jon Gilmore went 2-for-5.
    • Brandon Short went 1-for-4 with an RBI (sac fly) and a strikeout.
    • Eduardo Escobar went hitless over five at-bats, striking out once.
    • Stephen Sauer allowed five runs on eight hits and three walks over six innings, striking out two. He did get 14 groundouts.
  • Lakewood 4, Kannapolis 1
    • Brady Shoemaker provided the only run with a solo shot. He also struck out twice in four ABs.
    • Kyle Colligan went 2-for-4; Miguel Gonzalez 1-for-4 with a K.
    • Andre Rienzo allowed four runs on seven hits and a walk over six innings, striking out four.
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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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RWShow

“(E)ven if he’s not ready, he’d be hard-pressed to hit them worse than Nix did.”
Exactly my reaction. There doesn’t seem to be much downside here, and what the hell, maybe he provides some value.

bigfun

Early in the offseason Soxmachine’s comments section had a bit of a Nix fan club that wanted him to get the majority of a Nix/Getz platoon, if not an outright starting job. I wonder if those guys are shedding tears over him now.
On an unrelated note, DeWayne Wise is getting playing time in Toronto as a fourth outfielder. I hope The Catch gets him work for at least a few more years.

RWShow

I was a Nix fan, to an extent. I knew his defense was terrible and he wouldn’t hit for average, but his power was intriguing. I’m mildly disappointed, but not terribly surprised.

winningugly

Nix was, and is, horseshit.

Shinons

Yeah, I noticed he was batting lead off the day they had that earthquake. I think God was sending a message…

sars

I still think Nix is a useful player. I still think the best laid plans if the Sox didn’t want to spend any money would’ve been to stick Nix at second and leave Beckham at third. Would’ve saved them the Teahen headache and unnecessary extension, if nothing else. It’s pretty hard to judge anything Nix did based on 58 plate appearances. I expect you, bigfun, to recognize that more than anyone else here.

bigfun

Oh absolutely – I was in favor of the Nix/Getz platoon (or something similar to it, i.e., something that costs around $800,000). He is still useful and I think he’ll latch on somewhere.

soxfan1

I saw Dewayne in spring training and gave him a rowdy cheer while shouting “The Catch”!! He was very cordial and signed my program. I hope he does well!!

soxicano

Viciedo is a big game hitter. He has shown that many times on a world baseball level, “futures games” etc. so we are not talking about someone who is new to big game pressure. This kid is putting up Alex Rios like numbers in home runs, doubles, RBI’s in the minors. Defensively speaking, this is gonna hurt the Sox at 3B. But developmentally speaking, having Vizquel counsel Viciedo is very smart. Who better to school him at 3rd? If Viciedo can play both 1st and 3rd, he won’t be a one trick pony. I will take Viciedo over Nix anyday. This kid may be the next Frank Thomas for this team.

bigfun

“Who better to school him at 3rd?”
Maybe someone who’s played third more than 36 times in his major league career?
As for the Big Hurt comparisons, Viciedo has a 52/8 K/BB ratio this year, so you may want to temper those expectations just a bit.

knoxfire30

The next frank thomas hahahahahahah soxicano i thought i drank and partied to much but man i want to party with you, haha wow!

yinkadoubledare

I thought angry cynicism was a prerequisite to being a Sox fan.

striker

I’m thinking:
A) Viciedo platoons with Kotsay at DH
B) Viciedo, Vizquel and Beckham battle it out for 2B and 3B.
C) All of the above

sars

Viciedo’s defense has been god awful at third and is almost assuredly a 1B/DH for the rest of his career, and you think he’s going to “battle it out” for 2B?

blacksox56

future first baseman, move konerko to dh next season. hopefully pro-long his career with us.

bigfun

It would probably make more sense to do it the other way around, since Konerko is a proven solid defender at first and Viciedo has barely played there.
If both were on the roster next year and were going to split 1B/DH between them, I would like to see Viciedo get about 80% of the DH and Konerko 20% for health/rest reasons.
That’s if the Sox re-sign Konerko, of course.

soxicano

On an up note, this is all a good sign for the Sox. Viciedo is not being brought up because the Sox have given up on the season, instead its to retool the bench and situational hitting against tough lefties especially at bottom lineup. Truth is the only extra base power hitter on bench is Jones, and he continues to slide back on batting average and home run frequency. His outfield glove is a definite plus so I see him staying for the remainder of the season, simply not to over extend Rios, Pierre and for Quentins mental farts out there in late innings. Better to bring Viciedo up now with the hitting chemistry than to bring him up as a savior in a long lost season. That kind of pressure will make a hitter force too much when its all on their shoulders. I think these are some of the changes Kenny said were coming.

ricksch

Nix finally goes out with the garbage. “Useful?” Wonder what’s useful about his lifetime batting average, outsized strike out ratio and shitty defense? Useful on someone else’s team.
Having Nix on our opening roster was clear proof the team was not ready for prime-time and was one Thome or Damon short of trying to win. Nix couldn’t hit off the bench, couldn’t be called a “defensive replacement” and took up space for someone who might have been able to help us — like a Thome. Having him back up the then back-up Vizquel, who can play all the positions Nix plays — only better — was a use-LESS redundancy.
Hope we’ve seen the last of him.
As for Viciedo, he’s been on a hot streak and is worth the gamble until they can decide if they have to become buyers or sellers.

sars

FWIW, Nix rates pretty highly by most advanced defensive metrics, as well as the Rockies fielding instructor at the time calling him “one of the best defensive 2B’s I’ve ever seen.” The numbers would tend to agree (albeit with the limited time he’s seen in the majors). He also wasn’t handed a starting job.
The ones you should be pointing a finger at are Beckham, Quentin, Teahen (or KW), AJ, Alexei, and Peavy. Instead you lambast a utility player that has 58 plate appearances all season.

blacksox56

true but is he not apart of the struggling portion of the team too? the goal of a utility player, like he was, is to step in a be a viable sub for the regular starters at various positions when they needed rest. and he was far from viable.
personally i’m glad he’s gone. he’ll never be a regular major leaguer, he’s struggled every year to hit the ball and his defense is average at best.

ricksch

I didn’t say Nix was responsible for the Sox’ disappointing season. He’s just a career Minor Leaguer who didn’t belong on any contending team, least alone ours.

Shinons

I remember noticing last year Viciedo’s splits improving considerably each month – the last part of the season, he even drew some walks. So far that’s been the case again this year. I’m sure there’s going to be some points where he makes himself look ridiculous, but hopefully that just teaches him to adjust. So long as we don’t force him out there when he doesn’t belong, we might be a better team with him out there.