Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

Viciedo to left field ... sooner than later

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PHOENIX - There is no question that Cuban rookie Dayan Viciedo has skills to play in the big leagues.
Further evidence of that was offered up on Wednesday, as the 19-year-old hit a two-run homer against Oakland, giving him two in the spring in just four games against major-league talent.
Still, from at least a hitting standpoint, the White Sox are taking a wait-and-see approach with him.
"When I go down my list of mechanics, he checks well on all of them,'' hitting coach Greg Walker said on Wednesday. "Physically he's a strong kid, mechanics are solid, and now it all comes down to learning his personality and how his brain works.
"We have to sit back and watch, see how he competes, how his mind works. Does he get down on himself, all this little things that make big-league players special. And with Dayan, we just don't know yet.''
Because of his slightly below average defense at third base, however, expect him to lose out this spring to Josh Fields.
The rookie made his first Cactus League error of the spring in the loss to Oakland, but it could have easily been No. 2 if not for a generous home scorekeeper last week in Colorado.
Viciedo did his best to downplay it.
"I feel good defensively,'' he said through interpreter Lou Hernandez after the 7-2 loss. "The one error happened, but defensively I don't have an issue. I'm not bad.''
That doesn't mean there isn't a plan in place for him.
With Jermaine Dye likely playing his final season on the South Side, the Sox would love to move Carlos Quentin over to right field - his more natural outfield position - in 2010, and then plugging Viciedo into left field, much like they did with Carlos Lee - another lumbering one-time third baseman.
Third is his home for now, but don't expect it to be a permanent residency.

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Cowley published on March 4, 2009 4:38 PM.

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