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.
Christian Marrero Reading Room:
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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.