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After a false start — and a correct one — Dayan Viciedo made his major-league debut against a guy tailor-made to suit the Cuban Pimp’s strengths.
When challenged by lefty John Lannan, who entered today’s game with 35 walks and 23 strikeouts in 71 innings, Viciedo looked like a phenom.
Nyjer Morgan robbed him of his first hit, a deep drive to right-center that might have left U.S. Cellular Field. But he wouldn’t have to wait long to establish a batting average, as he ripped a single along the same line in his next trip to the plate.
Viciedo stung the ball pretty well in his third at-bat off crafty righty Miguel Batista, but he hit it right at Cristian Guzman as he started a 4-6-3 double play. He only looked overmatched when facing power-fastball-slider guy Drew Storen.
He was rarely tested defensively, but handled the one chance he had by starting a 5-4-3 double play. Another hard shot got past him, but he was positioned too far off the line to have a realistic shot at it.
Viciedo’s debut can’t be called anything but a success, and Ozzie Guillen played it well by starting him in ideal conditions. The lack of action at third was icing on the cake.
Guillen might be better off using him sparingly, though. Viciedo got mostly hard stuff until Storen threw him sliders on three of four pitches in his strikeout. If he gets overexposed and teams start throwing him slow stuff, he could be overwhelmed in a hurry.
I took plenty of photos of his debut, and here are the best:
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For the third straight season, the Sox came to terms on their first-round pick swiftly, and without bending over backwards. Chris Sale is now a member of the White Sox organization, and an intriguing sales pitch reeled him in:
While Sale will get less money than anticipated, the White Sox will give him every opportunity to crash their big league bullpen, perhaps as early as August. He’ll initially report to high Class A Winston-Salem, with an anticipated promotion to Triple-A Charlotte in mid-July. After spending this summer as a reliever, he’ll work in the Arizona Fall League as a starter and get the opportunity to make Chicago’s rotation in spring training next year. […] B.B. Abbott of Jet Sports Management, which represents Sale: “While we felt extremely confident that a larger bonus would be available later in the summer, we think Chris not only has a viable opportunity to pitch in the big leagues this year, but a very good chance to do so. As we did with Zack Wheeler last year, we considered the opportunity, the risk and the reward. As clear as it was that Zack should wait, it is equally clear that this is a legitimate opportunity for Chris to pitch in the big leagues in six weeks or less with a contending team. While this was not an easy decision, we believe it is the right decision.”
You guys got a head start on the discussion already, with some great (and respectful — always appreciate respectful) point-counterpoint. But I don’t think there are any comparable players in the White Sox system, as Aaron Poreda was a starter for the partial of his draft year, all of 2008 and most of his time in the Sox system in 2009. He only threw in relief when making the jump to the big leagues, and it was his lack of a secondary pitch that did him in.
Detroit’s Andrew Miller is a cautionary tale, but even that doesn’t work. Ignoring that he’s just one guy in a different organization, he also only pitched at high-A before making his big-league debut in September of 2006.
Sale will apparently be given a tougher test, having to prove himself at two levels (at least) before he could be considered for the second lefty spot.
It’s kind of a curious decision, but I don’t think it will hurt as long as they let him use all three pitches. The benefits seem to outweigh the negatives. Sale was considered to be a moderately difficult sign, but the Sox were able to add him for slot money without having to go to the Rick Porcello route and add him to the 40-man roster. The Sox have been criticized for being conservative with draft spending, but this is a way to work around financial limitations, and that’s something that should be explored.
I’ll use the off day today to catch up, post the recaps and post some thoughts about what this awesome road trip might mean.
Minor league roundup:
- Charlotte 6, Rochester 2
- Daniel Hudson was effectively wild, walking four but striking out six over five innings. He allowed two runs on five hits, and one of them was a solo shot.
- Stefan Gartrell went 1-for-3 with a homer, a walk and two RBI.
- Brent Morel went 1-for-3 with a double (his second) and a walk.
- Jacksonville 5, Birmingham 0
- Christian Marrero went 2-for-4 with a strikeout.
- C.J. Retherford went 1-for-4.
- Wilmington 7, Winston-Salem 4
- Brandon Short went 3-for-4 with a homer and two RBI.
- Eduardo Escobar went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and a sac bunt.
- Jon Gilmore was hitless in four at-bats.
- Terry Doyle had an OK night: 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K.
- Lakewood 6, Kannapolis 3
- Miguel Gonzalez went 1-for-4 with a strikeout.
- Brady Shoemaker went 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts.
- Nick Ciolli wore the collar.