Viciedo sets sail; Sale set with Sox

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.

Dayan Viciedo follows through on his first major-league hit; more photos below the jump.
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:
[flickr-gallery mode=”photoset” photoset=”72157624196413421″] *************************
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.
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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.
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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.
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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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bigfun

I’m still awfully skeptical of Brandon Short and his .411 BABIP, but he’s starting to look like he could force his way to AA. I’d love to hear a scouting report on him. Does he have some speed that he’s using to beat out those ground balls and get to first? He’s certainly not using it after that (4 SB, 7 CS, ouch). He’s got 9 HR on the year, how much of that power is real? He’s played a bit in center, can he cut it there or is he strictly a corner guy?

knoxfire30

I hate to keep nit picking on the sale thing especially in the midst of a huge winning streak and what not, but what are the chances he gets quality innings using all three of his pitches as a situational lefty downt he stretch for this team… just seems like a bad idea in my opinion.
People think our rotation is log jammed with the current 5 and Hudson likely taking garcia’s spot next year but having enough starting pitching is never a problem and I just think sale’s development will be held back by this move.

soxicano

Catchy headline I likes. Viciedo hit the ball with authority 3 of his 4 at bats, and he would have a single and extra base hit had that center fielder not made a great run and catch near the wall. Regardless, he does look ready, and this is a good promotion. My recommendation is have Teahen rotate with Viciedo at 3rd and move Vizquel to 2nd base. Send Gordon to the minors to recover because the big leagues is not a place for a young player going through these struggles. He needs to regain his confidence. He is totally lost at the plate. Vizquels lefty bat is too hot right now to put on the bench. When does Teahen return? after all star break?

rmensch

I don’t think Gordon goes down. I’ve at least seen some improvement lately from him. He seems to be cutting down his swing and staying on the ball. Demoting him is an absolute last resort for this team. I don’t think a demotion does anything but hurt his confidence. Teahen was a waste. If you’re trying to build a championship team, why are you adding a piece from a perennial loser. Heck, he’s not even a guy who hit well against the other AL Central teams. At least they didn’t give up much for him.

Shinons

You might be right about sending Beckham down. He’s still not making contact enough and having some ugly appearances. But I’d like to see Viciedo start these next two games against Hanson and Hudson to see how he handles some tough righties, to make sure he’s not going to be just as big of a liability as Beckham has been. If he can manage to not embarrass himself against those two, I’d probably want to see Beckham head to Charlotte to get his head back on straight.

rmensch

And on Sale…
Don’t you have to like a guy who takes slot money because he wants a chance to pitch in the bigs this year rather than string out contract talks just to get that extra money. Without much other evidence, he seems like a competitor. Can’t hate it.

knoxfire30

or he wants his clock started right away so he gets to free agency and the big money faster… its all relative

grinderintraining

Well if nothing else, at least he’s confident then.

eddystankysghost

Doesn’t need to be “or”…more likely “and”.

rmensch

Very true

ricksch

I don’t think you send Beckham down either. But if you have a situation where he must start earning at-bats, that works for me. He hasn’t earned staying in the line-up the way Ozzie has him in there with the former Nix and Lillibridge the next best options besides the ubiquitous Vizquel. This is another of many reasons why the roster construction of this team totally sucked starting the season and now has to be fixed on the fly.
Sox have to decide if they want to be buyers and pick up either a 3B, 2B or RF. Berkman? The 2nd on the D-backs? Who makes sense for the Sox and what’s it gonna cost? The advantage they have if that everyone wants pitching at the deadline and we don’t seem to need that, though a second lefty behind Thornton would be great. Thinking Sale could be that guy seems optimistic, though the kid only has to get one guy out each game.

bigfun

Berkman’s contract is too big. Probably can’t get Kelly Johnson (or other guys with team control left, e.g. Edwin Encarnacion) without giving up too much for someone who would presumably be a rental.
Someone like Iwamura who is a basically a free stopgap would work, but isn’t going to change the complexion of your team much.
They might be able to get a decent bat for Putz. Someone like Jonny Gomes or Brad Hawpe, I guess. I wonder how willing the Sox are to give up on the DHydra, though.

ricksch

Even a guy like Luke Scott would be an upgrade. He’s on a one-year deal with the O’s. Shouldn’t take much to pry him loose.
I would even consider dealing Buerhle if we get something useful in return, i.e. a three-way for an Adrian Gonzalez type player. Doubt that Buerhle would get us much or that many teams would want his contract. The truth is Buerhle’s been a second tier pitcher for the past few years.