Between re-signing first baseman Paul Konerko to a three-year, $37.5 million deal and seemingly clearing the way for rookie Brent Morel to take over as the everyday third baseman the White Sox pushed prospect Dayan Viciedo out of the infield picture, but now Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports that they’re giving him a look in the outfield.
Viciedo played right field yesterday and made a pair of nice plays, drawing praise from manager Ozzie Guillen. Viciedo has played exclusively first base and third base since signing with the White Sox for $10 million in 2008, but Gonzales notes that he saw some outfield action in Cuba before defecting.
Viciedo is listed at 5-foot-11 and 240 pounds, and many people were skeptical about his ability to show the range needed at third base, so counting on him to track down fly balls in an outfield corner is hardly a guarantee. Still, if he can be a passable defender while developing some much-needed plate discipline offensively the White Sox could step up their efforts to trade Carlos Quentin knowing they have the 22-year-old Viciedo waiting in the wings.
The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.
After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.
Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.